Joint Statement by Japanese NGOs
concerning Killings of Leaders of Lumad and Farmer in the Philippines
Today, on February 6, 2017, nineteen (19) Japanese NGOs/networks have submitted "Joint Statement by Japanese NGOs concerning Killings of Leaders of Lumad and Farmer in the Philippines" as below to Japanese government and companies and the Philippine government.
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(This English translation was made by Friends of the Earth Japan. The original joint statement was written in Japanese.)
February 6, 2017
Joint Statement by Japanese NGOs
concerning Killings of Leaders of Lumad and Farmer in the Philippines
We have been concerned about environmental and social problems and human rights violations which Japan-related large-scale development projects are causing at the local level in the Philippines, and have been urging Japanese government and companies to solve those problems. Amid that, we express our terrible shock that a Lumad-Mamanwa leader was shot dead last January 20th in Claver, Surigao del Norte, or the area where Japanese companies have invested (*1) and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) have provided its loan (*2), and strongly denounce this outrage.
Veronico “Nico” Delamente, 27 years old, was an active member of the Kahugpungan sa Lumadnong mga Organisasyon (KASALO) ? Caraga, and was known for his leadership in the struggle for the rights of the Mamanwa tribe against several large-scale nickel mining companies operating within their ancestral lands, including Japanese ones. “Nico,” a young leader, was well-loved and respected by their Lumad community, and showed the community about the principal to stand up for their rights to the land.
On the noon, at the past 12:30 of January 20, it was reported that two men on board a motorcycle came over to Punta Naga (*3), Brgy. Cagdianao, Claver, and fired his gun at “Nico”. He was invited for a meeting called by the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) with regard to an indigenous people survey to approve the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) proposal of the Platinum Group Metals Corp. (PGMC) to expand their mining operations in the area. Since December of last year, the FPIC proposal was already on the table for the approval of their Lumad-Mamanwa leaders, which “Nico” had earlier rejected. After that, “Nico” reportedly revealed the threats to his life in connection with his refusal to agree to the FPIC proposal.
In the Philippines, four (4) leaders of Lumad and farmer have been killed only this January. On January 5, 2017, a T’boli and municipal tribal chieftain in South Cotabato was killed. He was struggling against the palm oil plantations grabbing the T’boli ancestral domain. In addition, two (2) leaders of sugar farmers were gunned down in Negros Occidental separately on January 20th and 25th. Both farmer leaders aimed at genuine land reform and were struggling for the rights of landless peasants.
Also, what is still remaining in our mind very clearly is the killing case of Ariel Diaz in Brgy. Villa Pereda, Delfin Albano, Isabela on September 7th, 2016. Manong Ariel was recently a chairperson of Danggayan Dagiti Mannalon (DAGAMI). DAGAMI have been addressing the problems of land grabbing and farm workers caused by Isabela Bio-ethanol Project, which a Japan-related company (*4) started. Villa Pereda is where the farmers are strongly struggling against farmland grabbing by the project. Manong Ariel was a spirited and reliable leader, which we couldn’t expect from his small body.
In the Philippines, the serious violation of human rights, such as political killings and enforced disappearance, with which Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and private armies of big landlords and mining firms got involved, has been rampant under the past administrations. We have expressed grave concerns that the situation of human rights hasn’t yet been improved even during the current administration. Such killings and serious human rights violations must not happen anymore against the leaders of Lumad and farmer who have been protecting their land rights at the risk of their lives. Therefore, we call on the Philippine government to immediately take the following actions;
1. The immediate investigation of the separate incidents to be conducted by an independent body;
2. The immediate investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators which includes landed elites, mining firms and hired goons under the protection of said landlords and corporations;
3. An end to the continued harassment and intimidation of Lumad in and out of their communities;
4. The protection of peasant activists and environmental defenders with regard to their work in the defense of land and the environment;
5. The Philippine Government to adhere to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all the major Human Rights instruments that it is a party and signatory.
Further, we would like to warn Japanese government and companies especially, who are about to provide huge investment and fund to the Philippines, about this serious situation of human rights violations in the Philippines. On January 12th, 2017, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced in the summit meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte that “Japan will support the Philippines with a scale of 1 trillion Yen (around USD 10 billion) for 5 years, including Official Development Assistance (ODA) and private investment.” (*5)
However, in the Philippines, there is the frequency of serious human rights violation, in other words, the outrage against citizens. A series of extra judicial killings surely oppress the voice of citizens who are concerned about these kind of human rights violation against themselves, as well as bring the grief to the people around the victims. In this situation, it is difficult to secure the social acceptability of local community, appropriate participation of local people, or appropriate consultation, which are the requirements in the environmental and social guidelines of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA: an implementation body of Japanese ODA) and JBIC (the role is to support Japanese private companies to invest abroad) as well as international good practice.
Therefore, we call on Japanese government and companies to take the following actions before they continue providing any huge investment and funds to the Philippines;
1. To realize the actual situation of human rights violations in the Philippines, and to call for the Philippine government to take immediate actions, including the above-mentioned five (5) points, and to improve the situation of human rights;
2. If the situation is not improved, to consider stopping or withdraw the investment and the fund, as there is a possibility to be complicit in those human rights abuse against any local leaders of indigenous peoples and peasants with regard to their work in the defense of land and the environment at the project sites where Japanese government and companies provide some investment and fund.
Japanese government and companies is now expected to take sensible, firm and independent action against unacceptable human rights violation in the Philippines.
(19 organization/networks endorsed)
Alternative People's Linkages in Asia
Asian Community Center 21
Free The Children Japan
Friends of the Earth Japan (FoE Japan)
Health Assistance & Neighborhood Development Support, Inc. (HANDS)
INTAG SOS CAMPAIGN KANSAI
The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines - Japan Chapter (ICHRP-Japan)
Japan Lawyers for International Solidarity Association (JALISA)
Japan Neuva Ecija Foundation
Japan-Philippines NGO Network Steering Committee
KAFIN Migrant Center (Hannou, Iruma, Kawaguchi, Nagoya, Urawa, Yokohama) (Kalipunan ng mga Filipinong Nagkakaisa, or Association of United Filipinos)
Kansai Action Center on Philippine Human Rights Issues
Network for Indonesian Democracy, Japan (NINDJA)
ODA Reform Network, Kansai
Pacific Asia Resource Center
Philippine Nikkei-jin Legal Support Center
The Takagi Fund for Citizen Science
WE21Japan Group (WE21Japan, WE21 Japan Yamato, Hodogaya, Sumida, Ebina, Asahi, Izumi, Fujisawa, Ninomiya, Kanagawa)
Friends of the Earth Japan
Add: 1-21-9 Komone, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173-0037 Japan
Tel：+81 3-6909-5983 Fax：+81 3-6909-5986
Mr. Shinzo ABE, Prime Minister
Mr. Taro ASO, Minister of Finance
Mr. Fumiko KISHIDA, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Mr. Akira Kondoh, Governor, CEO, Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)
Mr. Shinichi Kitaoka, President,Japan International Coorperation Agency (JICA)
Mr. Kazuhide Ishikawa, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of the Philippines
Mr. Yoshiaki Nakazato, President & Representative director, Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd.
Mr. Akira Sasaki, President and Representative Director, Pacific Metals Co., Ltd.
Mr. Yoji Sato, President & CEO, Sojitz Corporation
Mr. Tatsuo Yasunaga, Representative Director / President and CEO, Mitsui & Co., Ltd.
Mr. Masahiro Okafuji, President & Chief Executive Officer, ITOCHU Corporation
Mr. Koichi Kawana, President and Representative Director, JGC Corporation (JGC)
H.E. Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines
Hon. Jesus Dureza, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
Ret. Maj. Gen. Delfin Lorenzana, Secretary, Department of National Defense
Hon. Vitaliano Aguirre, Secretary, Department of Justice
Hon. Jose Luis Martin Gascon, Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
(*1) Taganito Mining Corporation (TMC: Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC) 65 %, PAMCO 33.5 %, and Sojitz 1.5 %) has been operational in developing Nickel mining in Taganito, Claver, Surigao del Norte since 1989 when it made the first commercial shipment to Japan. Its MPSA has an area of 4,862.7 ha. Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation (THPAL), who has been operational in Nickel processing plant in this area, is consist of Sumitomo Metal Mining (75 %), Mitsui (15 %), and NAC (10 %). TMC supplies the raw materials for THPAL project, or the law-grade nickel ore (Limonite). SMM is a shareholder of NAC with 25 %.
(*2) On July 5th, 2011, JBIC made a loan agreement to finance US$ 750,166,000 at maximum for THPAL.
(*3) The resettlement site which TMC and PGMC provided for Lumad-Mamanwa who had been expelled from their housing and living areas several times over long time due to the nickel mining exploration and operation.
(*4) In the beginning of the project in 2011, Itochu and JGC invested in Green Future Inovation. Inc. (GFII), the project owner of the bio-ethanol project, with around 70 %. However, it has been found in 2016 that Japanese companies already withdrew from this project due to the problem of economic feasibility.