Members of peasant organizations murdered in 2017, Calatagan, Batangas, Philippines

Two farmer leaders killed in 2017, Lito Casalla and Engracio de los Reyes, were at the forefront of the long opposition to Ramon Ang‘s landgrabbing for limestone for cement by his company Asturias Chemical Industry.


Description

During the first 13 months of President Duterte’s government, 58 out of the 98 victims of extrajudicial killings were human rights defenders, 94 are facing trumped up charges and are imprisoned and a total of 435 political prisoners remain in jail. Most at risk of these attacks are peasant leaders, indigenous peoples and environmental activists. Of the 98 victims of extrajudicial killings, 91 were leaders and members of peasant organizations opposing mining and resource extraction projects in defense of their land and the environment.[4]

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Basic Data
NameMembers of peasant organizations murdered in 2017, Calatagan, Batangas, Philippines
CountryPhilippines
ProvinceBatangas
SiteCalatagan
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Land acquisition conflicts
Specific CommoditiesLand
Cement
Limestone
Chemical products
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsAsturias Chemical Industries has a Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau which gave the company license to exploit over 808 hectares of the land for its limestone. The groups said the MPSA was issued covering the disputed area despite the peasants already having an “Emancipation Patent” over these lands.(2)

Environmental activists are opposing the proposed limestone mining project owned by business tycoons Ramon Ang and Eduardo Cojuangco. Two peasant leaders, Lito Casalla and Engracio de los Reyes, have already been killed while five have been “illegally” arrested and detained after trumped-up charges were filed against dissenters. Meanwhile, Agaton Bautista, secretary general of SAMBAT, scored the intensified “militarization” of anti-mining communities in Calatagan, Batangas. He claimed that the presence of government security forces resulted in the “displacement of farmers and fisherfolks from our resource-rich lands.”

Asturias has a Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau which gave the company license to exploit the land for its limestone. The groups said the MPSA was issued covering the disputed area despite the peasants already having an “Emancipation Patent” over these lands.(2)
Project Area (in hectares)2636
Start Date1995
Company Names or State EnterprisesAsturias Chemical Industries from Philippines
Relevant government actorsDepartment of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Mines and Geosciences Bureau.

Army of the Philippines
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersKalikasan People’s Network for the Environment

Samahan ng Magbubukid sa Batangas (SAMBAT)

Samahan ng Maliliiit na Mangingisda at Magsasaka sa Calatagan (SMMMC).

Samahan ng Maliliit na Mangingisda ng Baha at Talibayog (SMMBT).

KARAPATAN Human Rights
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Women
Local scientists/professionals
Religious groups
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationArtistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Blockades
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Collective fencing of land against the Asturias Chemical Industries
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Mine tailing spills, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Health ImpactsPotential: Occupational disease and accidents
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in violence and crime, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Potential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusUnder construction
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCriminalization of activists
Deaths
Court decision (undecided)
Repression
Violent targeting of activists
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Powerful chemical and cement industrial interests in alliance with Duterte's government, against local peasant movement. Killing of environmental leaders.
Sources and Materials
Links

[2] Davao Today, Green group hits crackdown vs environmental defenders in Batangas. Oct. 20, 2017 MART D. SAMBALUD
[click to view]

[4] KARAPATAN Human Rights Update. Canada-based orgs call on Trudeau to speak out for at-risk human rights defenders in PH
[click to view]

[3]Ramon Ang and SMC ravage Batangas
[click to view]

Media Links

[5] Calatagan farmers start fencing land vs mining firm

July 6, 2008
[click to view]

[6] Calatagan farmers up in arms vs cement firm over property. July 2, 2008
[click to view]

[7] Calatagan farmers resume march to Malacanang for land. December 1, 2008
[click to view]

[1] Kalikasan's description of the events
[click to view]

Other Documents

Photo courtesy of Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Davao Today, 20 Oct 2017)
[click to view]

[click to view]

Meta Information
Last update12/12/2017
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