Kibungan IPs warn erring developers

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KIBUNGAN, Benguet  – Indigenous peoples living in this fourth class municipality has sent a tough message to would be investors to respect their rights before touching their ancestral domain.
The indigenous cultural community of this town represented by its chairman Mr. Albert Mayamnes said that companies planning to enter ,and develop their natural resources into huge business will face stiff resistanceif they will not consult them first
“Though we are not against any development,interested investors must respect our rights over our domain.” Mayamnes stressed.
This strong message addressed to investors came amid a controversy regarding the alleged drilling activity in their town for the construction of hydro power plant.
He further explained that they have the right to know what ever the plans or intensions of these investors into their place.
Mayamnes advise other investors to follow the example set by the COHECO 60 by consulting them and following the proper process.
Meanwhile a controversy arised when an alleged drilling activity started and ceasedfew weeks ago and nobody has claimed responsibility.
The issue prompted the LGU Kibungan and NCIP to conduct parallel investigation on the matter.
Municipal councilor Susan Atayoc revealed during the turnover of the initial share of IPs of Kibungan from Coheco 60 that a resolution to hold in abeyance all activities of the two companies without the knowledge of the community and officials is now pending at the council while waiting for the result of the investigation.
She appealed to the people behind the two companies to resolve their personal misunderstanding because the community is now being affected.” This Korean investor is confusing our people” Atayoc added.
At present two companies with similar company name are interested to construct hydro power plants in the said municipality, the COHECO 60 and Coheco Badeo (500).
The Korean investor in the name of Larry Howon kim was the initiator of the COHECO 60 and after completing all the papers of the said power company he again put up another company the COHECO Badeo (500) with his new team.
The Cordillera Hydro Electric Power Corporation was able to get the consent of the local tribes for the construction of 60-MW power facility.
However the Coheco Badeo (500) is yet to get the consent of the local folks.
Mayamnes advise other investors to follow the example set by the COHECO 60 by consulting them and following the proper process.
“Any endorsement even issued by local legislative body is not a permit they must undergo the process of Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC).” Mayamnes explained.
By JOSEPH MANZANO.
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