Groups launch Tampakan solidarity mission

AROUND a hundred environment, indigenous peoples and human rights advocates set off today for the Peace and Solidarity Mission to Tampakan to mark the first month of the Tampakan massacre of Blaan leader Juvy Capion and her two sons.

The mission, led by Justice for Capion and Justice for All Movement, Panalipdan Mindanao and Socsksargends AGENDA, seeks to provide psycho-social therapy for children and women affected by the incident and other relief actions for the community. The group will also seek to probe and hear out stories from the Blaan community regarding their struggle to defend their land from the encroachment of the multinational Xstrata Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI).

The Blaans and Tboli tribes in Socsksargends are locked in a bitter struggle with Xstrata-SMI for the past decade which has seen human rights violations rise including murders of indigenous peoples and evacuation of communities due to militarization.

The mission is joined by 92 delegates from General Santos, Marbel, Sarangani, Digos, Davao and also from Manila particularly from Katribu Partylist, Kalipunan ng mga Katutubo ng Pilipinas (KAMP), Task Force Indigenous Peoples (TFIP) and Marie Hilao-Enriquez of Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancement of Human Rights).

A press conference will be held on Monday morning (November 19) in General Santos City for the initial findings and recommendations.

The findings and testimonies will also be presented to the Manilakbayan, a Mindanao campaign to bring the issues of mining plunder and human rights violations to the attention of national government officials and the public leading to the commemoration of the International Human Rights Day.

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