TAMPAKAN MASSACRE: International solidarity requested against SMI-Xstrata corporation (Philippines, Switzerland)

SMI-Xstrata is a Swiss corporation which has a mining application in south Cotabato, Mindanao. despite the resistance of the community the Philippine government is backing-up the said application.

In order to silence the resistance the government use the military. 13 people were killed including an 8 years old boy and 3 months pregnant woman. The culprit is based in Switzerland. We are asking for your support to put pressure on the corporation to stop the destruction of natural resources and to seek justice for the victims.

At 6:30 a.m. on Oct. 18, in Datal Aliong, Kiblawan, Davao del Sur, Juvy, 27, wife of B’laan leader Daguil Capion, was shot in cold blood together with her two sons, Jordan, 13, and John, 8 by elements of the 27th Infantry Battalion, led by 1st Lt. Dante Jimenez. The youngest daughter Vicky, 4, escaped but was wounded.

When a relative of the victims said that it was better if the children were not harmed, a soldier replied “mas maayo nga tiwason  ang  mga bata para wala’y witness” (better to finish off the children, so there are no witnesses). Before Juvy was shot, the relative heard Juvy say, “tama na ayaw namo sige ug pabuto kay naigo nako” (please stop firing your guns,  as I am already wounded). But the soldiers kept firing their guns.

Immediately after the incident, Colonel Alexis Bravo, commander of the 27th Infantry Batallion, conducted press conferences for radio and print, claiming the incident was an ‘encounter’ with the NPA. Evidence however showed there was willful intent to kill innocent children and their mother. They even talked to the unarmed mother before killing her. How can that be an encounter? Juvy, the mother, together with her husband Daguil, are active leaders in opposing the mining project. Col. Bravo, Lt. Jimenez and seven other soldiers were relieved of duty immediately after the massacre.

Kiblawan Mayor Marivic Diamante, who is an active supporter of Xstrata-SMI and receives millions in ‘development’ funds from them, and who is often a guest speaker in mining conferences in Manila, attempted to take possession of two children who were vital witnesses, saying they would be brought to the hospital. The mother of Daguil refused, triggering a tug of war, pacified by Atty. Hawtay of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). The children are now safely in the hands of the Social Action Center of Marbel. (Sources – Task Force Detainee of the Philippines, Social Action Center Marbel, rappler.com, LILAK).

The military wants to convince everyone it is a counter-insurgency war. They do not see it as a people’s war against the multinational they protect. They talk of suspected communist rebels. That is the way they justify their presence. They say they are there because the rebels are there. They say they want to protect the people from the rebels. But they kill instead the people they say they protect. In truth, from their actions, they are there to support and protect the mining project. Before the multinationals came, there was peace in Tampakan. Now the domain of the B’laans has been mutilated.

For more details (WARNING: Contains graphic photo's of masacre) http://onsiteinfoshopphilippines.wordpress.com/newsupdate/