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COMELEC DUMPS REPORMA BET FRANCO TITO’S SUBSTITUTION BID FOR VICE GOVERNOR IN DAVAO DE ORO

News report by Partido Reporma about Franco Tito as substitution candidate for vice governor is fake news

– Tito is not a candidate for vice governor

– DavdeOro Comelec director Atty. Krisna Samantha Caballero rejected Tito substitution bid for candidate Alexander Agustin Petalcorin

– Tito cannot substitute for Petalcorin because Petalcorin did not withdraw as candidate for vice governor

– DavdeOro candidates in race for vice governor are incumbent Gov. Jayvee Tyrone Uy and Petalcorin

May be a closeup of 1 person

PARTIDO REPORMA FIELDS FRANCO TITO FOR GOVERNOR IN DAVAO DE ORO

By ROGER M. BALANZA

The Partido Reporma announced that former Mt. Diwata barangay captain Franco Tito is its official candidate for Vice Governor in Davao de Oro Province in the 2022 elections.

The opposition party that is fielding the tandem of Senator Ping Lacson (President) and Senator Tito Sotto (Vice President) chaired by Davao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, made the announcement in a post on Faceook on November 15, Comelec deadline for substitution of candidates in the 2022 election.

Tito, according to Partido Reporma, substituted for Alexander Petalcorin Agustin, the Partido Reporma candidate who withdrew his COC.

The photo of Partido Reporma top officials Alvarez and Davao del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib, the party secretary general, endorsing Tito, was posted in the FB accounts of Partido Reporma and Elma Sy-Tito, wife of Tito.

Also endorsed in the photo is Partido Reporma’s candidate for governor, political neophyte Dorothy Gonzaga, a former justice of the Court of Appeals.

The photo, taken inside the office of Comelec Nabunturan in Davao de Oro where Tito filed his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) on November 15, Monday, showed the hands of Tito and Gonzaga, being raised by Jubahib and Alvarez, former House Speaker and former secretary general of the ruling PDP/Laban chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte.

In the race for vice governor, Tito will be up in a one-on-one fight against incumbent Gov. Jayvee Tyron Uy, the candidate of the Hugpong Ng Pagababago (HNP) of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

The governor’s race will also be a one-on-one battle between HNP’s Senior Board Member Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy, the governor’s father, and Partido Reporma’s Gonzaga, wife of PDP/Laban Davao regional chair Davao de Oro 2nd District Rep. Ruwel Peter Gonzaga.

FRANCO TITO, DIWALWAL IN MALAYSIA FILMFEST

FRANCO TITODiwalwal, l’Or Maudit des Philippines (“Diwalwal, The Cursed Gold of the Philippines”) featuring Comval’s Diwalwal ex-barangay captain Franco Tito is one of the 37 documentaries and short films being screened in Malaysia’s Freedom Film Festival.

The 58-minute film on Diwalwal was produced last year and directed by a Frenchman, Philippe Couture.
The human rights-oriented film festival kicked off today, and will run until September 14, 2014, as Malaysian NGOs’ own way of celebrating Malaysia Day on 16th September.
Festival organizers said that they have “carefully selected this year’s programme to showcase a range of unique works, putting equal focus on artistic value and human rights content.”
The festival will present films that are cinematically engaging and culturally relevant from new and international filmmakers, as well as filmmaker discussions and workshops. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

PHILIPPINES – FEBRUARY 23: Franco Tito, chief of Diwalwal, walks through the streets of the gold-rush village on Mindanao Island in the Philippines, on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2008. Tito has fought small-scale gold diggers like himself for 20 years to keep control of a 100-meter mountain tunnel in the southern Philippines. Now he’s girding for battle against the world’s biggest mining companies. (Photo by David Greedy/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Miners press protest vs. sale of Diwalwal

Leaders from the Nagkahiusang Katawhan sa Diwalwal (NAGKADIWA) trooped anew to the Philippine Mining Development Corporation (PMDC) yesterday to reiterate its opposition to Mt. Diwalwal sellout through a petition entitled, “Panalipdan ang Mt. Diwata, Pakigbisugan ang Katungod sa Yuta, Panginabuhian, ug Nasudnong Patrimonya.”

The petition which is signed by nearly 1,000 Diwalwal residents and small scale miners, opposes the private takeover in Diwalwal as it urges the Aquino Administration to side with the people of Diwalwal, for natinal welfare, and national patrimony,” NAGKADIWA chairperson Reynaldo Elejorde said.

After the cancellation of the July 30 bidding, the PMDC, the corporate arm of the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), has been silent about the next date of the bidding and any future moves which will affect the livelihood of more than 40,000 small scale miners, tunnel operators, small entrepreneurs, farmers and residents, he said.

NAGKADIWA in its petition said that although there is positive intention from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Compostela Valley to intervene in the issue, its moves have been “slow and indecisive.”

“After several sessions, the council has yet to come up with a firm or decisive resolution on the issue, except for a few board members who were vocal about their opposition to the takeover of private mining corporations within the 729 – hectare mining area,” Elejorde said.

The past two sessions have also failed to pass a resolution favorable on the small scale miners’ demands to revoke the Joint Operations Agreement (JOA) awarded to the Joel Brillantes Mining Corporation (JBMMC).

The controversial JOA has ignited rage among the small miners as this gives JBMMC exclusive right to mine within 452 hectares of land within the 729-hectare parcel that is supposedly allotted for the small scale miners, he said.

In a session on August 4, Board Member Dexter Lopos proposed to the council that all agreements within Diwalwal must be reviewed by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, and stressed that for decades, the province did not get significant revenue from mining operations in Mt. Diwalwal .

Elejorde appealed to the provincial board to exclude incumbent board member Joselito Brillantes from deliberations on the JOA due to conflict of interest.

“As president of the JBMMC who signed the questionable JOA and as one who represents the interest of a large-scale private firm, BM Brillantes should make the dignified move of excusing himself from the sessions when it tackles the JOA,” Elejorde said

 

TROUBLE IN DIWALWAL

Miners set to barricade Davao-Agusan highway

BY ROGER M. BALANZA

Small scale miners of Mt. Diwata in Monkayo, Compostela Valley are awaiting action of President Aquino on their request to stop a government plan to sell Mt. Diwata to foreigners.

This developed as they aborted last month a plan to barricade the Davao-Agusan highway to force Malacanang to abort a planned bidding of portion of the gold-rich barangay.

The bidding  set on July 31, 2010 by the Philippine Mining Development Corporation (PMDC), the government agency partly managing gold mining operations in Mt. Diwata, has been postponed.

franco-tito

Mt. Diwata barangay captain Franco Tito said miners are “gearing for battle” and would barricade the highway if their demand is not answered by President Aquino.

Large foreign mining companies are set to participate in the bidding of portion of Mt. Diwata, also known as Diwalwal, where about 40,000 small-scale miners depend for a living.

Tito said he had already submitted to Malacanang  a petition letter asking Aquino to stop the bidding,

We need an answer before this patrimony of the nation, where thousands depend for a living, could be sold to foreigners.

Meanwhile, ComVal governor Arturo Uy is set to meet with Tito and leaders of 729 Coalition, which is spearheading the planned mass action. Gov. Uy was expected to appeal to Tito and the smallscale miners to give time to Aquino to assess the situation in Mt. Diwata.

Gov. Uy earlier had convinced Aquino to postpone the schedule bidding last May, as smallscale miners warned mass actions like barricading vital Davao-Agusan highway if the bidding pushes through.

The blockade on the highway would have fatal effect on the region’s economy. Several years back, smallscale miners blocked the road thrice over government mining policies that threatened their livelihood.

The 729 Coalition, composed of small scale miners, ore millers, underground laborers, small and medium traders, indigenous peoples, Moro people, farmers and residents in unity with the local government unit, peoples organizations, non-government organizations and religious organizations, in its petition hand-carried by Tito to Malacanang asked Aquino to stop the bidding of the Mt. Diwata area that small scale miners have been mining since 1983.

The area of 729 hectares earlier had been awarded by government to the small scale miners.

729 Coalition also asked Aquino to cancel the illegal Joint Operating Agreement entered into by and between the Natural Resources Development Corporation (NRDC) and JB Management and Mining Corporation (JBMMC) covering areas presently being mined by small scale miners with service contracts with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The coalition also asked for a review of government policies in Mt. Diwata and to reorganize the National Task Force Mt. Diwata into a lean force with small scale miners given a bigger voice in policy making on the management of the Diwalwal Integrated Development Area (DIDA).

It also sought the abolition of the PMDC and National Resources and Development Corporation (NRDC)—another agency involved in management of Mt. Diwata–or take away the government agencies’ management rights over Mt. Diwata gold mining operations.

The coalition also asked that NRDC and PMDC officials be subjected to proceedings in the Truth Commission due to corporate mismanagement that led to the sad state of affairs in the Diwalwal Gold Rush.

In its petition, 729 Coalition said “Mt. Diwata has been at peace until PMDC and NRDC decided to sell this valued patrimony of the nation—upon which thousands depend upon for their livelihood.”

“This would be a blatant betrayal of your vision to give equal opportunities to all. The entry of the foreign mining companies is an affront to social justice, the government’s program on poverty alleviation and would rob us of our right to decent living,” it said.

The coalition said that Presidential Proclamation No. 297 issued by former President Arroyo institutionalized the smallscale miners’ right to 729 hectares and allowed allowed them to contribute to the development of our country by giving government its rightful share; initiate efforts to protect the environment; end decades of violence and gave us the right to make the mining industry in Mt. Diwata responsible and sustainable.

“It is unfortunate that the very government agencies designated to bring harmony to Mt. Diwata are now themselves destroying the strides we have made through all the years to make Mt. Diwata a peaceful community and a major contributor to the progress and development of the nation, “ said the coalition.

“What is worse is that this would come at the expense of the people who had labored for more than 30 years to make Mt. Diwata what it is today—for the benefit of foreigners, “ said the coalition.

729 Colation said selling Mt. Diwata to foreigners would violate Section 5 (Mineral Reservation) of RA No. 7942 which provides “preferential right to small-scale miners to apply for agreement for a maximum aggregate area of twenty-five percent (25%) of such reservation.”

It said thousands of the smallscale miners would be displaced if the bidding pushes through and the large mining company which won the bid brings in mechanized mining.

“There is no alternative livelihood program for thousands who would be displaced after the take-over by the foreign companies, contrary to the mandate of the PMDC to improve the quality of life of the people through policies and programs,” said the coalition, adding that the local government of Mt. Diwata or the municipal government of Monkayo has not issued endorsement to any prospective bidder in violation of bid requirements in 4.3 of No. 4 of the Term of Reference to qualify for the bidding.

The Coalition also asked the cancellation of the the “midnight deal” entered into by NRDC and JBMMC under the Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) that covered part of the 729 hectares reserved for small-scale miners per DENR Administrative Order No. 66. The JOA also subsumed areas already covered by service contracts between the small-scale miners and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region XI and delegated in NRDC Memorandum of December 22, 2009, it said.

The National Task Force Diwalwal should also be abolished and replaced with another body to manage the Diwalwal mining industry that would “have ears closer to the people.” The task force is presently composed of a myriad of government agencies. The new body should be a lean-and-mean team so that problems in the gold rush area could immediately be heard and resolved, said the coalition.

With the bidding only a few days away, the Mt. Diwata community is in a state of shock and restiveness at such wanton disregard of their right. The fear of economic dislocation is an old issue in Mt. Diwata and was the root of violence in the past. We beg you Mr. President to take a look immediately at a potential social problem that could erupt anytime if the Mt. Diwata community could not find an answer to their current problem of an impending dislocation, the coalition.

729 Coalition heaped the sad state of affairs in Mt. Diwata on NRDC and PMDC and accused the agencies of corporate mismanagement.

“Despite the huge collection from mining operations (15% of gross output as share of government), NRDC in its three years of operation has accumulated operating losses P44 million. NRDC management has refused to explain the losses before the local government and the small-scale miners. PMDC is as well guilty of gross mismanagement for failing to implement the Mabatas Tailings Dam Project with a fund of P50 million which could have been vital in addressing pollution in Mt. Diwata,” it said.

3,000 Muslim miners in Mt. Diwata gold tunnels

3,000 Muslim miners

 in Diwalwal tunnels

                Mt. Diwata barangay chairman Franco Tito said about 3,000 of about 95,000 working the tunnels in the gold mines are Muslims.

                Tito, village chief of the gold-rich barangay in Compostela Valley province, said he had met with Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chairman Nur Misuari to seek support for the smallscale miners facing displacement as the government bids out Mt. Diwata also known as Diwialwal to multinational mining companies.

                Tito told a business forum in Davao City that he and the Muslim miners last week as the Philippine Mining Development Corporation (PMDC) and the National Resource Development Corporation (NRDC), the government agency supervising mining operations in Diwalwal, set the bidding for 729 hectares of areas intended for smallscale miners.

                He said Misuari expressed full support to the small-scale miners as well as tribal leaders who vehemently object to the selling of Mt. Diwata. Misuari promised to bring the plight of the small miners to president-elect Senator Noynoy Aquino.

                Vincent Barry Lagura, PMDC business development group manager, said the bidding is set but small-scale miners could organize and join the bidding if they have a minimum of P500 million. Tito said the miners does not have the amount.

                Lagura told the forum there is no way for the small scale miners to legalize their operations except to join the bidding and have part of Diwalwal awarded to them.

                He also said PMDC is bidding out areas under the 600 meters below sea level mark, which are intended for large-scale mining.