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Killing of anti-mining activists in Compostela, Mindanao, Philippines

There is constant repression against farmers and indigenous populations complaining against large scale mining in Southern Midanao. Killings are on the rise.


On October 13, 2016, there was a new victim of the mining industry in Campostela Valley: Joselito “Anoy” Pasaporte, 32, a member of the youth arm of the environmental group Panalipdan, which is campaigning against operations of the Agusan Petroleum and Minerals Corp. and against military units accused of protecting the firm and of occupying communities and schools in the province. Anoy Pasaporte’s death followed that of Jimmy Saypan, secretary general of the Compostela Valley Farmers Association, two days earlier. Saypan, 48, was shot in the stomach by motorcycle-riding gunmen in Barangay New Visayas in Montevista town Monday afternoon and died at a hospital in Tagum City, Davao del Norte the following day. Like Pasaporte, Saypan was also prominent in the campaign against Agusan Petroleum and Minerals Corp. and military abuses.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Killing of anti-mining activists in Compostela, Mindanao, Philippines
State or province:Mindanao
Location of conflict:Compostela
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Mineral ore exploration
Specific commodities:Copper
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Mining exploration permit for the Agusan Petroleum and Mineral Corporation (Agpet) covers 12,444 hectares in Compostela displacing at least 1200 families. Permission for exploration granted by the state in 2011, expired in 2013 but AGPET is always there.

Project area:12,444
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:8,000
Start of the conflict:2011
Company names or state enterprises:Agusan Petroleum and Minerals Corp (AGPET) from Philippines
Relevant government actors:The Army
Local government
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Panalipdan - SMR (South Mindanao Region)
Compostela Farmers' Association
Hugpong sa Mag-Uuma sa Walog Compostela (HUMAWAC) the provincial chapter of KMP in Compostela Valley
Nagkahiusang Mag-uuma sa Laak (Namulak)
Hygpong sa mga Mag-uuma sa Mabini (HuMaBin)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Artisanal miners
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Local scientists/professionals
Sources refer to "farmers and lumad" people. Artisanal miners also demonstrate against the company.
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Barricades, pickets, kampuhan (people’s camp), placing placards along mountain trails.
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Noise pollution, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Militarization and increased police presence, Specific impacts on women
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Deaths, Assassinations, Murders
Violent targeting of activists
Killings of Anoy Pasaporte, Jimmy Saypan, Jennifer E. Albacite, Cora Molave Lina, Arman and Arlyn Almonicar, Carolina Arado, Jeanni Rose Porras, Jean Labial, and Beverly Geronimo
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Strong repression, killing or wounding of leaders of farmers' association and Lumad leaders.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Capital interests: A historical analysis of the transformation of small-scale gold mining in Compostela Valley province, Southern Philippines, by Boris Verbrugge.The Extractive Industries and Society. 1(1), March 2014, Pages 86–95 .

[1] Related case, killing of activist Teresita Navacilla in the King-King mining project in Compostela
[click to view]

[2] panalipdansouth.blogspot - Davao-based environmental campaign and education center dealing with threats to the environment and the people in Southern Mindanao Region
[click to view]

[3] HRD Memorial. Jean Labial (2018)
[click to view]

[4] Bulatlat. Suspected soldiers shoot dead Lumad woman in Agusan Sur (2018)
[click to view]

[5] Davao Today. Karapatan blames military for deadly, ‘indiscriminate’ Comval attacks (Sambalud 2016)
[click to view]

[6] Asian HRDs. Philippines: Anti-mining leader found dead in Compostela Valley (2017)
[click to view]

[7] SunStar. Stop killing farmers (2017)
[click to view]

[8] HRD Memorial. Carolina Arado (2017)
[click to view] The online news portal of TV5
[click to view] The online news portal of TV5
[click to view]

Compostela farmers, local gov't oppose mining exploration. Both the local government and farmers say Agusan Petroleum and Mineral Corporation's mining exploration will do more harm than good to the town. Karlos Manlupig, June 21, 2015
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

From Kilusang Magbubikid ng Pilipinas
[click to view]

Farmers and small scale miners Barricade Against The AGUSAN PETROLEUM And Mineral Corporation
[click to view]

Lennart Hofman, Are indigenous Filipinos being murdered for anti-mine activism?
[click to view]

Panalipdan-SMR is a Davao-based environmental campaign and education center dealing with threats to the environment and the people in Southern Mindanao Region.
[click to view]

Other comments:Local condolences: "Jimmy Saypan...loving father and son, a Mandaya Lumad leader, humble farmer, fearless community organizer, defender of the environment and ancestral domain, a genuine warm hearted spirit, we called you Kuya, our brother, our friend, our kauban, our kasama. They may have murdered your physical flesh, but your spirit will live on through us as we continue the struggle..."
Meta information
Contributor:JMA, updated by DT
Last update10/12/2021
Conflict ID:2432
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