Solon to Canadian PM: ‘Raise human rights, mining issues with PNoy’

BAYAN Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares today urged visiting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the leaders of the Filipino community in Canada including Filipino-Canadian Senator Tobias Enverga, to raise with Pres. Aquino Canada’s concern for the escalating number of extra judicial killings and other human rights violations.

Coming from a country which prides itself with respecting human rights, and hosts a large number of Filipino immigrants, the Canadian delegation is asked to help in the battle against impunity in the country.

“The Canadian Prime Minister, including the Filipino members of the delegation, should also remind Canadian mining firms in the country to respect human rights and assure Pres. Aquino that Canada will do its share in holding accountable mining firms that are found to commit human rights violations while demanding that Aquino do the same.

Canadian mining firms have very unsavory reputation in the Philippines after Placerdome practically destroyed communities in the Marcopper disaster in Marinduque years ago.

Until now those involved have not been made to account.  Now, another Canadian mining firm Toronto Ventures Incorporated (TVI) has been charged with hiring paramilitary units and committing human rights violations including extra judicial killings and demolition of homes of the natives in their mining sites in Bayog, Zamboanga Sur, Colmenares said.

The AFP admitted on November 9, 2012 during a congressional hearing of the Committee on Human Rights in Davao City that 88 members of their Special CAFGU were under the pay of TVI,” added the solon.

According to a CBCP paper there are many Canadian firms or companies listed in Canadian stock exchange which are operating in the Philippines.  Those listed under the Toronto Stock Ventures Exchange are Altai Resources Inc, Canada Resources Corporation, Crazy Horse Resources Inc, MBMI Resources Inc, Metallum Resources Inc, Mindoro Resources Ltd, Panoro Minerals Ltd,  Philex Gold Inc, Philippine Metals Inc, Rugby Mining Ltd, and Tiger International Resources Ltd.  There six firms listed in the Toronto Stock exchange namely CGA Mining Ltd, Crew Gold Corporation, Medusa Mining Ltd, Oceana Gold Corporation, Olympus Pacific Minerals Inc, TVI Pacific Inc.

Colmenares stressed that it must be noted that Oceana, TVI and MBMI resources have gained notoriety for various irregularities or human rights violations. The Canadian government must show concern for the actions of its mining firms in the country.  We cannot afford another Marcopper disaster.”

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