DAVAO CITY, Philippines — A leader of Mamanwa tribe was gunned down by unidentified gunmen riding a motorcycle on Friday, Jan. 20 in Claver, a mining town in Surigao del Norte.
The anti-mining activist and tribal leader, identified as Veronico “Nico” Lapsay Delamente, 27, was shot dead at around 12:20 noon last Friday in Punta Naga, Brgy. Caagdianao, according to Kalipunan ng Mga Katutubong Mamayan ng Pilipinas.
Kasalo, a Lumad organization in Caraga, said that two men onboard a motorcycle with their faces covered arrived in Punta Naga and shot Delamente several times.
He was rushed to a hospital at Surigao city but he died instantly. A child was reportedly hit by a bullet and is still confined in the hospital.
“The assailants were not apprehended despite the presence of a military detachment of the Task Force Diamond of the Philippine Army at the entrance of the road exiting Punta Naga,” the group said.
Delamente was killed on the same day that Lumad-Mamanwas were set to hold a meeting in Punta Naga for the Indigenous People’s Survey with the NCIP representatives in Surigao del Norte.
“The assembly was being held to discuss the conflicts between Lumad groups in connection with the large scale nickel mining operations within the ancestral lands of the Lumad Mamanwa,” Kamp said.
KAMP said Delamente was a provincial coordinator of Katribu Partylist since 2010 and an active member of the Kahugpungan sa Lumadnong mga Organisasyon, the regional Lumad organization in Caraga.
He was also a council member of the AMPANTRENTO, an NCIP-recognized organization of the Lumad people in Claver under Datu Renante Buklas.
Delamente was known for fighting the rights of Mamanwa tribe and his tough stance against the large scale nickel mining companies operating within their ancestral lands. These are Adnama Mining Resources Inc. Tag-anito Mining Company-Nickel Asia Corp., Platinum Group Metals Corp. and Claver Mineral Development Corp.
Last December 2016, the group of Datu Renante Buklas filed a graft and grave abuse of authority complaint at the Office of the Ombudsman against Congressman Prospero Pichay of Surigao del Sur who is the owner of CMDC for his forcible eviction of the Lumad-Mamanwas from his mining concession.
Thereafter, Delamente revealed the threats to his life in connection with his refusal to agree to the “plans” for large scale mining in Claver. (davaotoday.com)