Court issued writ for controversial P7.366-M Mamanwa funds in Surigao banks

by Ben Serrano

      October 23, 2010

            BUTUAN CITY - Judge Francisco F. Maclang of the Butuan City Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 3 finally issued Writ of Preliminary Attachment against bank accounts of Mamanwa Tribal Datus or leaders Reynante Buklas, Alfredo Olorico, Emiliano Gede, Dodoy Bago, Alicia Patac and acting NCIP-Caraga Regional Director Jose “Jake” Dumagan, Jr. in Cantilan Bank in Claver, Surigao del Norte. 

            The writ against bank accounts of above mentioned defendants was issued by Judge Maclang is necessary if the amount of money deposited in said Surigao del Norte banks were not enough, the RTC Branch 3 Judge explained.

            Maclang likewise in his October 18, 2010 writ or court order said that if and still the money deposited in Land Bank of the Philippines Surigao City Branch under savings account number 0981-1545-92 wherein signatories were Datu Emiliano Gede, Dodoy Bago and NCIP Surigao del Norte Officer Vicente Baldoza, Jr. and Cantilan Bank were not sufficient to satisfy applicant’s demand, “let a writ of attachment be issued ordering the Sheriff of the Court to attach so much of the properties in the Philippines of defendants.

            Court named Reynante Buklas, Olorico, Gede, Dodoy Bago, Alicia Patac, Taganito Mining Corporation (TMC) represented by its President Gerard H. Brimo, and acting NCIP Caraga regional director Atty. Jose “Jake” Dumagan, Jr.

            It can be recalled that Judge Maclang earlier had issued court order to Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) Surigao City Branch and the Cantilan Bank of Claver, Surigao del Norte Branch to stop releasing the P7.34-million Mamanwa Tribes’ fund deposited in said banks.

            This developed after Caraga Indigenous People’s Management and Development Corp., headed by Engr. Sergio Pascual filed Breach of Contract against Mamanwa Tribal leaders like Reynante Buklas and others before the sala of Judge Maclang of the Regional Trial Court Branch 3 Butuan City. 

            The tribal funds ordered frozen formed part of the royalty payment paid by Taganito Mining Corp. (TMC) operating within the Mamanwa ancestral domain areas.

            The court also ordered contesting or affected parties like Caraga Indigenous People’s Management and Development Corp., headed by Engr. Sergio Pascual, NCIP through Baldoza, Buklas and Patac, TMC to submit simultaneously memorandum until Monday, Oct. 18, to support their respective positions on the issue raised.

            Maclang in his October 18 court order said, “Finding the grounds relief upon by plaintiffs (Caraga Indigenous People’s Management and Development Corp., headed by Engr. Sergio Pascual) application in the issuance of Writ of Preliminary Attachment is found meritorious and inconformity with section1, rue 57 of the Rules of Court”.

            Maclang however also ordered the plaintiffs to put up required bond as required by law afterwhich a Writ of Preliminary Attachments against defendants be issued.

            It can be recalled that sometime in 2008, Mamanwa tribal leaders Buklas and Datu Alfredo Olorico signed a memorandum of agreement or entered into a legal contract with CIPMDC headed by Pascual, for a management and consulting services.

            The two tribal leaders, with the help of Pascual, filed several complaints against NCIP, mining firms including Bureau of Mines of why they only got P500,000 a year in royalty payment, representing the one percent from gross mining income as share of the lumads from mining operations in their ancestral lands.

Buklas and Olorico complained they were not fully aware of the P500,000 a year agreement as this was not fully explained to them even allegedly by the NCIP, which supposedly a government agency tasked to coordinate in protecting their rights as indigenous people.

Buklas parted ways with Pascual with only Olorico left continuing asking services and assistance, including financial, medical and other assistance from Pascual in pursuing cases against mining firms operating within Mamanwa ancestral domain.

NCIP offices here alleged the Mamanwas themselves ousted Datu Alfredo Olorico as one of their leader. 

Pascual and Olorico complained that Buklas group eventually sided with mining firms, thus receiving millions of pesos royalty fees and other assistance while Olorico received nothing.

This writer tried to reach or contact NCIP Caraga regional director Jake Dumagan to get his side through his mobile phone several times but to no avail.

 This writer also tried to reach Baldoza and TMC but also to no avail. (-30-)