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.


The latest from america

Bishop Lawrence T. Persico of Erie, Pa., speaks during a meeting in late January at the headquarters of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
“I think we need complete transparency if we’re going to get the trust of the people back,” said Erie Bishop Lawrence T. Persico.
Mélanie Thierry as Marguerite Duras in “Memoir of War.” © Music Box Films
The film tells the story of a woman who worked for the German-controlled Vichy government but secretly joined the Resistance movement.
A. W. Richard Sipe (photo: Facebook)
Sipe's research into celibacy and priestly sexual behavior helped guide the work of church leaders and others responding to the clergy sexual abuse crisis.
Catholic News ServiceAugust 17, 2018
Did Pope Francis depart from Scripture and tradition in declaring the death penalty "inadmissible"? Or was his declaration rooted deeply in both?
Tobias WinrightAugust 17, 2018