Mamanwa tribes opposing the MRL mining company

Mindoro Resources Limited (MRL), a Canada-based mining exploration company, will use IFC’s investment for exploration at the Agata nickel project in the Surigao district on Mindanao Island.

IFC claimed that it will work with the company to ensure that exploration and any subsequent mine development is carried out in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner.

Mamanwa tribes wrote a complain letter to the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman of International Finance Corporation with the address of 2121 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20433 USA regarding the exploration of MRL mining company in the ancestral land without proper consultation.

Tribal community members supervised by tribal chieftain Bae Genoviva A. Colangan executed a letter last December 3, 2010.

“We the Mamanwa tribes against the MRL mining company projects in the Barangay Bunga, Municipality of Jabonga, Agusan del Norte. Our complaint was completed in the following grounds ended by MRL mining company in our ancestral domain”. We are outlining the following anxieties:

1. We don’t want the MRL mining company to encroach in our ancestral domain, because we don’t want our forest to be destroyed.

2. We don't want our area to be extracted because it will be in our one of our sacred places, which has been very important for us and our culture since time immemorial.

3. They entered into our ancestral land without proper information and consent from us.

4. They don’t even respect indigenous people’s right.

“We the Mamanwa tribe will directly affected the consequence of MRL mining company project. Destroying our natural forest will affect our daily needs”. The ensuing effects are;

1. Mamanwa tribe’s relationship will be in troubled.

2. There were no traditional sources of income.

3. Indigenous culture will be disappeared.

4. The right of land will be moved out.

5. Displacement of the mamanwa tribes.

In the document received, around 29 traditional elders and leaders of Mamanwa tribe signed the grievance letter which was strongly opposing the MRL mining company to operate their ancestral land. (Nokie Calunsag, Green Mindanao Association Inc.)

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