The Mount Cansermon Command–New People’s Army South Central Negros (MCC-NPA) on Tuesday, September 14, owned the burning of a backhoe at Sitio Bulod, Barangay Carabalan, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, to remind the ruling class not to engage in destructive and harmful economic activities.”
The backhoe, estimated to cost P3.5 million, and owned by ESJ and Sons Construction Co., was burned by armed men on Saturday, September 11, PLt. Arturo Margallo, Himamaylan deputy police chief, said Monday.
“What the elite calls ‘development projects’ are detrimental to the poor peasants and the ancestral domain of the Indigenous Peoples, particularly in the mountain ranges and forest lands of Cambantog, Trukat, Tahod Ilajas and Cansermon in the boundary areas of Binalbagan and Himamaylan City in Negros Occidental and La Libertad and Tayasan in Negros Oriental,” Ka Dionesia Magbuelas, MCC-NPA spokesperson, said in a press statement.
The road construction at the Himamaylan City-Negros Oriental boundary, along the Tayasan Road, is meant to pave the way for the entry of multinational mining companies and other big businesses targeting the estimated 1,100 hectares of the Tribu Itoman-Maghat-Bukidnon lands, he claimed.
“Through the years development aggression have threatened ancestral lands of the tribe in the hinterlands of Himamaylan City,” Magbuelas said.
These economic projects will bring in huge profits for the multinational firms but it will displace the people and their livelihood and harm the environment, he said.
After President Rodrigo Duterte lifted the moratorium on mining last April followed by an executive order of the provincial government of Negros Occidental supporting the move, tribe members living and farming-hunting in areas of Himamaylan City designated as forest reserve and watershed zones through the NIPAS Act of 1992 were “threatened” by the military to vacate their houses within two months, he claimed.*