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Bishop Pacana: Let there be no silence in the peace process

While praying for silence in the battlefields, Bukidnon Bishop Honesto Pacana called on both government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to keep on talking and never to allow times of silence in the peace process.

Pacana said the silence of the guns is not enough unless there is continuing dialogue between the two parties.

The bishop described to MindaNews the peace process situation at the moment as “experiencing silence.” He said the ongoing hostilities are a proof of that as he appealed for a continuing peace process.

He has called for prayers among the Catholics for peace as they celebrate Christmas in his homily for the first morning mass on December 16 at the San Isidro Cathedral.

He has appealed to the faithful to include in their prayers peace in the country, especially in Mindanao.

Pacana said even if Bukidnon is not directly within conflict areas related to the GRP-MILF problem, it has its own peace issues.

Read a full report on


Echoing dissent on mining

Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio told Mindanao lawyers to help prevent foreigners from further exploiting the country’s mineral resources at the expense of the environment, the government and the Filipino people.

In his keynote speech before participants of the Mindanao regional convention of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines here from Nov. 21 to 23, Carpio said lawyers of the past have failed to protect the forests from logging companies, so the present crop of lawyers should not make the same mistake when it comes to mining.

Carpio voiced out the dissenting opinion in the 2005 Supreme Court decision on La Bugal-B’laan v. Ramos case that declared with finality the constitutionality of the 1995 Philippine Mining Act. Read the rest of the reporton

Selling mining with two sides now

Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau regional chief Edilberto Arreza says they now tell investors about possible opposition to mining projects from the Lumads (indigenous people) unlike in the past when they were silent about this.Arreza’s presentation to businessmen attending various meetings for the East Asean Growth Area two weeks ago showed potential areas for mining, legal framework and other information for investment promotions but was silent on the issues brought up by those opposing mining.  

Arreza earlier told MindaNews they didn’t want to mention it as it might scare off the investors.  But he told MindaNews Monday that the “silence” was his own lapse. Read the rest of the report on

Bukidnon Reporter blog: Mining in Bukidnon?

There’s a lot of talk about rich gold deposits in Pantaron Mountain Range in San Fernando, Bukidnon. All these gold panning stuff we hear from treasure hunters tickled our imagination over the years.

This time, however, it has become official. The government started to include Bukidnon’s mining potentials in its marketing presentations to foreign investors. Read the rest of the post on Bukidnon Reporter blog.

Gov’t flaunts five “high interest” mining sites in Mindanao

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources this week flaunted to investors from the East ASEAN Growth Area (EAGA) five potential “high interest” mining areas in Mindanao.

Edilberto Arreza, OIC regional director of the DENR’s Mines and Geociences Bureau (MGB) in Southeastern Mindanao identified the areas as North Central Mindanao, Zamboanga Peninsula, Southern Mindanao, and Palawan, and Samar-Eastern Mindanao. 

The five districts are included in the twelve “mineral districts” the government identified in its international roadshow for investors. Read the rest of the report on

Resource projects dominate EAGA biz matching

Business interests mainly on biodiesel, palm oil plantations, and mining dominate projects eyed for business matching at the first ever BIMP-East ASEAN Growth Area investment conference here.

About 28 of the 39 projects were clustered under the natural resource development sector, according to a list provided by the conference secretariat to reporters.

Only 11 were classified under tourism development, transport, infrastructure and communication. Four of the projects are into mining, including another mining project in Zamboanga Sibugay, two in Compostela Valley under the Philippine Mining Development Corporation, and another one on coal in West Kalimantan in Indonesia.  Read the rest of the report on

Mining and Mindanao: what fate awaits communities?

A friend Penelope Sanz, an anthropologist and a part-time journalist, has gone deep into both probing mining communities and met with mining firms.

I think she has an extensive and intensive field work on mining in Mindanao. I have always wanted to cover communities as there are both interesting and shocking stories to tell from the mouths of people there.

She has written on how the mining industry has affected human rights and the lives in general of the indigenous peoples. But most newspapers were not able to publish it for some reasons.

So when I found some of her articles from old files I decided to post them here. Read More…