A group of protesters have disrupted operations of a mining port in Surigao del Norte since September 2, 2013.
Around 150 Manobo tribe members from Surigao del Sur have staged a picket in the port loading site of Adnama Mining Resources Inc. (AMRI) in Barangay Urbiztondo in Claver, Surigao del Norte. The protesters, led by Datu Mansa Samuel Dawog Sumanda, Chairman of “Kahugpungan Sa Nagkahiusang Tribu Nga Manunu-od sa Yutang Kabilin” (KANTRIMYUKA), have set up barricades and makeshift dwellings which blocked the entrances of AMRI’s stockpile port loading area. Because of this, AMRI management has decided to temporarily suspend operations at its loading site.
The motive of the group is to collect unpaid royalty tax shares derived from continuous mining operation in their ancestral domain. Reports did not say on how much the group demanded.
MindaNews reported that locals are surprised with the claim for royalties based on ancestral domain because Manobos are not from Surigao del Norte. The local indigenous people in the area are Mamanwa tribesmen which already received portions of royalty from mining firms.
A SecurityMatters source claims that the Manobo tribe members were roused up by certain militant groups with links to communist insurgents to disrupt mining operations in the area. Reports also indicate that the protesters were receiving supplies from unidentified supporters.
The source also said that KANTRIMYUKA planned another protest rally in Taganito Mining Corporation (TMC) in Barangay Taganito in Claver to disrupt the opening ceremony of a plant. But the rally did not push through because of TMC’s tight security setup. It can be remembered that TMC was attacked by New People’s Army (NPA) fighters last October 2011 which caused the destruction of Php3.2 billion worth of equipment. KANTRIMYUKA members instead went to AMRI to join other protesters.