The Buaya tribe of Kalinga province affirmed their opposition to the mineral exploration venture by Cordillera Exploration Inc. (CEXI) in their ancestral domain in both Kalinga and Apayao provinces.
By Abigail T. Bengwayan
BALBALAN, Kalinga – The Buaya tribe of Kalinga province last week affirmed their opposition to the mineral exploration venture by Cordillera Exploration Inc. (CEXI) in their ancestral domain in Tawang and Laukon, Balbalan town, including a portion of Conner in Apayao province. The exploration operations cover 8,000 hectares.
Residents of Barangay (village) Tawang signed a declaration Oct. 2, registering their stand against the CEXI exploration. They said that the CEXI activities in their tribal domain would only lead to human rights violations.
A copy of the declaration was submitted to the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) – Tabuk.
During the Asia Pacific Mining Conference picket in Makati on Oct. 11, Buaya elders Juanito Baguingan and Canuto Bagsao said that the voting held in their community last Oct. 2 misrepresented the real position of the tribe.
“The residents of Brgy. Tawang boycotted the voting to show their opposition to the project,” they said. The results reflected that only two individuals were against the mineral exploration, as reported by a local publication.
The women of Tawang authored a separate statement expressing their opposition to CEXI’s exploration activities, and its eventual mining operations. The same statement was also forwarded to the NCIP-Tabuk.
Tribal elders from Conner and Buaya participated in the Oct. 11 picket in Makati, deploring the onslaught of corporate mining in the region, which they said is at the expense of indigenous peoples in the concerned communities. (Bulatlat.com)