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No missing Mamanwa protesters, Datus say

TAGANITO, Claver, Surigao del Norte (MindaNews/19 February) – There are no missing Mamanwa protesters, tribal leaders here said.

Datu Joel Buklas, Datu Reynante Buklas and Datu Alfredo Olorico told MindaNews that they have no missing members, contrary to earlier reports.

On January 31, reports quoting Joel said five Mamanwa carpenters who built makeshift shelters at the barricade when they started on January 29, were missing. The alleged missing persons, however, were not named.

On February 14, Datu Joel Buklas and Datu Reynante Buklas told MindaNews at the barricade here that no Mamanwa is missing. Datu Reynante and Datu Olorico on February 17 reiterated no Mamanwa is missing.

Datu Reynante said there are 46 Mamanwa families in Taganito while Datu Olorico said he has 56 Mamanwa families in Urbiztondo.

At least 30 makeshift structures have been built on the road leading to the production site of the Taganito Mining Corporation, an area that is part of the ancestral domain title of the Mamanwas.

The Mamanwa Datus said they would lift the barricade only when the mining firm pays the royalty due them.

TMC resident mine manager Armando Pereda told MindaNews on February 17 that they were just awaiting guidance from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) on whose bank account they would deposit the P51.5 million (see related story)

The amount represents 1% of the gross production output of TMC from July 2006 to December 2007. The amount for 2008 will be available during the first quarter this year. (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)

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