Mining Crimes

Archbishop Socrates Villegas, head of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, talks to the media at the end of the bishops' plenary session in Manila July 13. (CNS photo/Simone Orendain)

Church leaders in the southern Philippines said the killing of tribal leaders and the harassment suffered by indigenous peoples in Mindanao are related to mining operations in the area. The tribal people “who firmly stand against mining activities were the ones being intimidated by paramilitary forces,” said the Rev. Bong Galela, social action director of the Diocese of Tandag. In Surigao del Sur province, indigenous peoples, collectively known as Lumads, have been under attack by gunmen of the Magahat-Bagani paramilitary force. Human rights groups alleged that the Philippine military trained and funded the group to go after Communist rebels in the hinterlands of Mindanao. The allegation was supported by diocesan clergy. “We call for the disarming and arrest of the members of the Magahat-Bagani group,” Father Galela told a Philippine Senate panel inquiry on Oct. 1. “We also demand the government to ensure that there will be no cover-up in the investigation of these gruesome murders,” the priest said.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.


Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

The Most Rev Bishop Michael Curry, primate of the Episcopal Church, speaks during the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, near London, England, Saturday, May 19, 2018. (Owen Humphreys/pool photo via AP)
Fabricated and impersonal, too many Catholic preachers hide themselves, forgetting that personality matters in preaching,
In this image made from video, Archbishop Philip Wilson, center, heads to Newcastle Local Court, north of Sydney, Australia Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (Australian Broadcasting Corporation via AP)
Philip Wilson was found guilty of failing to inform police about allegations of the sexual abuse of minors by a priest in the 1970s.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 22, 2018
The Holy Spirit might be the forgotten person of the Holy Trinity.
James Martin, S.J.May 21, 2018
Pope Francis walks past cardinals as he leaves a consistory in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican June 28, 2017. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Pope Francis is trying to ensure that those who elect his successor are humble men committed to “a church of the poor and for the poor.”
Gerard O’ConnellMay 21, 2018