Corporate mining in the Philippines

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 08:56
Oral Presentation
Ligaya LINDIO MCGOVERN, Indiana University, USA
The Philippine Mining Act of 1995 liberalized corporate mining in the Philippines. The most affected are the indigenous communities since about 60% of mining operations are in ancestral lands. Although there are national and international laws that stipulate the rights of indigenous population to their ancestral lands, often these are violated. Corporate security defense forces and the state military and paramilitary forces have been used to suppress and repress resistance to large scale corporate mining resulting in many human rights violations. The militarization of extractive capitalism embodied in the liberalized corporate mining in the Philippines is clearly illustrated here. The tremendous economic, environmental, cultural, political, and social impacts of corporate mining have spurred collective resistance from the indigenous communities and other sectors and human rights advocates in solidarity with them.. This paper analyzes the forms of resistance of the indigenous people using data from personal interviews, participant observation and relevant literature that I have conducted during my Fulbright scholarship in the Philippines (Fall 2017), and I draw their implications towards an integrated framing of human rights, social movements, and sustainability. The conceptualization of human rights and sustainability still largely see these dimensions as separate, but reality suggests that the social construction of sustainable societies must be anchored on a human rights regime, and social movement organizations that offer alternatives must be legitimized not repressed, suppressed and oppressed.