We respect the electoral exercise and the will of the people. But we see the dominance of traditional politicians (trapos), convicted plunderers and political lackeys of the Duterte administration in the winning list of new senators. This does not bode well for transformative social change.
We see new senators who are compromised by big corporate interests because either they were financially supported by business enterprises, particularly mining and extractive interests l, or they are actually beneficial owners of these corporations.
We are deeply troubled by the erratic performance of COMELEC as it failed to ensure the transparency and integrity of the electoral results, when it’s Transparency Server went down for several hours last night.
We expect this new Congress to sideline again the Green Bills – the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB), the National Land Use Act (NLUA) and the Forestry Management Bill (FMB). These bills will never be passed with the newly-elected Senators who will stop the passage of these bills that will protect our natural resources and ensure that we are able to respond appropriately with the realities of climate change.
Our alliance is afraid that ChaCha will be fast-tracked and that foreign-ownership of mining companies and mining operations will be allowed. This will result to more displacement of rural poor communities and additional deforestations, as more areas will be opened up for more the extractive industries.
We anticipate the the federalism project will be fast-tracked as well, and we will be vigilant in working with affected communities and other environmental groups to protect our patrimony and natural resources from misplaced economic and industrial projects that threaten our environment.
We will re-group and assess the new political landscape that we are operating. We shall consolidate our members and work with local governments to resist the entry or expansion of more destructive mining operations.
We remain open to work with national government agencies and officials to pursue sustainable development, but we will continue to protect the rights of communities and individuals to a safe and sound environment, as enshrined in our 1987 Constitution.
We will resist traditional politicians, misogyny, authoritarianism, fascism and the rape of our environment.
We will continue to be vigilant as activists, feminists and environmentalists as we uphold all human rights for all.
ATM National Coordinator
May 14, 2019
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