Tribal chieftains sue Pichay over ancestral land mining

Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 16 2016 07:34 PM

Prospero Pichay

MANILA - Two tribal chieftains in Surigao del Norte have asked the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate Surigao del Sur Rep. Prospero Pichay and 7 others for conspiracy to illegally mine, transport and sell nickel ores from their ancestral lands.

The complainants are Datu James Biol and Datu Reynante Buklas of the Manobo and Mamanwa tribes, respectively.

In a graft and grave abuse of authority complaint, they accused Pichay of conspiring with Mines and Geosciences Bureau officials in allowing the illegal mining activity in Bgy. Taganito, Claver, Surigao Del Norte.

Aside from this, Pichay also allegedly evicted members of Mamanwa indigenous peoples (IP) group from their ancestral land last February.

They accused Pichay of faking his claims for the shares in Claver Mineral Development Corporation (CMDC).

CMDC also allegedly did not ask for the Mamanwa tribe’s permission nor gave royalties to the IP group before starting their mining operations.