Tag Archives: Palawan

[In the news] Groups to offer prayers, flowers for ‘environment martyrs’ – www.gmanews.tv

Groups to offer prayers, flowers for ‘environment martyrs’

Hundreds of environmental activists will gather early Thursday evening at designated places in several key cities in the country to offer prayers, flowers and light candles in honor of those who have been killed in the fight for the environment.

The activity is the highlight of this year’s observance of the International Day of Commemoration of the Heroes, Heroines and Martyrs of the Resistance against the Mining, Oil and Gas.

Students, religious people, human rights and environmental activists simultaneously gathered in Manila, Puerto Princesa, Cebu and Cagayan de Oro and offered prayers, flowers, and lighted candles as relatives and friends recalled the lives and struggles of those they called “heroes and heroines” for environment.

Around 200 supporters from the city of Manila will gather at the Pope Pius Center along UN Avenue, and set up portraits of fallen comrades for the planned prayers and other activities.

The killing in Cotabato on Oct. 17 of Italian priest Fr. Fausto Tentorio is the latest in the string of killings of environmentalists for this year alone.

Early this year, Dr. Gerry Ortega of Palawan was shot and killed in Puerto Princesa. Another outspoken anti-mining activist, Datu Roy Gallego, was also killed in Surigao del Sur last Oct 14.

Read full article @ www.gmanews.tv

[In the news] Movement for Liveable Cebu, Cabrido awarded – www.cdn.ph

Movement for Liveable Cebu, Cabrido awarded    

Two environmental advocates in Cebu were recognized by peers for their outstanding and continuous work to protect the environment.

Lawyer Ben Cabrido and the Movement for Liveable Cebu (MLC) were given token awards of seedlings of lumboy, a native tree species.

Nov. 10 was the International Day for the Remembrance of Envrionmental Heroes and Martyrs.

Cabrido was recognized for his campaign against illegal mining in Mindanao.

He said plans are underway for a national summit next year for all anti-mining advocates.

“We will educate them with environmental principles and laws and argue with our causes of action and position. The government should preserve the biodiversity and integrity of our environment,” Cabrido said

MLC, formerly called the Stop Cebu Flyovers Movement, was credited for stopping the construction of two flyover projects in the center of Cebu City.

“We want a place for more people and not for cars. We deserve a place that is clean, with clean air. Our campaign is for those who believe. They should continue to speak up. Our challenge for them is to speak up and claim what is right,” said MLC convenor Joel Lee.

Lawyer Gloria Ramos said some parties consider it a “miracle” that the Department of Public Works and Highways suspended the flyover projects.

Cebu environmetal advocates also honored 29 environmental martyrs or those who were killed trying to stop the destruction of the environment brought by mining, oil and gas extractions.

The list includes Dr. Gerry Ortega of Palawan and Fr. Fausto Tentorio.

Read full article @ www.cdn.ph

[From the web] Statement from Alyansa Tigil Mina – journal.com.ph

For this column, I am giving way to Alyansa Tigil Mina’s response to some columnists and editors arguing about ATM—a coalition of more than 90 organizations based in communities affected  by mining:

First, our alliance was formed more than six years ago to challenge the misplaced policy of (the previous) GMA (Gloria Macapagal Arroyo) administration in revitalizing the mineral industry in the Philippines.  We believe that the claimed benefits of investments, employment and revenues or taxes by mining are misleading, inaccurate and sometimes, bordering on lies. We have studies and published researches done by economists that show that the promises of the mining industry for the past seven years have been dismal failures. We strongly argue that mining is not an efficient driver of economic development, and it is far from an effective poverty-reduction strategy.

Second, we associate ourselves with the Save Palawan Movement, because we share in their vision and the commitment to protect Palawan and we will gather 10 million signatures not just for Palawan but also for all key biodiversity and agricultural areas in the country.

Read full article @ www.journal.com.ph

[In the news] Firm files petition with DENR | The Manila Bulletin Newspaper Online

Firm files petition with DENR | The Manila Bulletin Newspaper Online.


MANILA, Philippines — A petition for revocation of Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) issued to Celestial Nickel Mining Exploration Corporation in Palawan was filed before the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) allegedly due to “neglect” of its responsibilities.

Compania Minera Del Grande Inc. president Alfredo Manuel alleged that Celestial Nickel has neglected MPSA No. 017-93-IV for more than 17 years “to the detriment of the national government” despite representations that it has the “financial resources, technical competence and skill.”

Celestial Nickel was granted on August 3, 1993 exclusive rights to conduct mining operations at Ipilan, Municipality of Brooke’s Point, Palawan, covering a total of 2,835.06 hectares for a period of 25 years, or until August 5, 2018.

Read full article @ www.mb.com.ph

[Statement] The message of the death of Fr. Tentorio is clear, PNoy must declare war against EJK and the culture of impunity NOW! – TFDP

We in the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), a mission partner of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP), strongly condemn the killing of Fr. Fausto Tentorio of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Mission (PIME) in Mindanao.

We call on government to swiftly act on this case or it will just add up to the long list of unsolved killings in the country and encourage more commissions of violations and abuses against our human rights.

The death of Fr. Fausto Tentorio, an anti-mining advocate and defender of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, once again stresses the need for Government to once and for all seriously face the continuing violations against human rights defenders.

Fr. Fausto Tentorio’s murder establishes a pattern that continuous killings of human rights defenders still persist even under the new administration. It is not enough to say that the perpetrators will go to jail, it is imperative for government to demonstrate its ability to protect and defend its people especially those that have chosen to serve the most vulnerable and marginalized.

Just like Fr. Tentorio, many anti-mining advocates had fallen victims to violence and killings by still unidentified perpetrators.  There are the likes of Gerry Ortega of Palawan, Armin Marin of Sibuyan, Romblon and Gensun Agustin of Cagayan and many more. Are these cases not yet enough to prove that corporate greed and the obsession with profit causes killings and human rights abuses?

More than condemning the killings, it is the government’s obligation to bring perpetrators to the bars of justice, protect and defend any person against abuses and crimes.

Tomorrow, PNoy leads a command conference of the Armed Forces. Let this not be an occasion to beat the drums of war against perceived enemies of the state.

Let this be the opportunity to declare in no uncertain terms that human rights violations end now. Let PNoy declare a war against impunity! Let our thirst for justice be quenched by a powerful rain of arrests, prosecution and conviction of perpetrators of human rights violations.

Your Bosses demand an end to killings and impunity. Protect the right to defend human rights! Justice for Fr. Fausto Tentorio! Justice for all victims of human rights violations!

[Statement] Anti mining group responds to column arguing its positions – ATM

Invites misled columnists, news writers to discuss mining

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), a coalition of more than 90 organizations from mining-affected communities, their support groups and NGOs. We would like to clarify some points that columnists and some editors have been arguing about ATM in the past weeks.

First, our alliance was formed more than six years ago to challenge the misplaced policy of GMA administration in revitalizing the mineral industry in the Philippines.  We believe that the claimed benefits of investments, employment and revenues or taxes by mining are misleading, inaccurate and sometimes, bordering on lies. We have studies and published researches done by economists that show that the promises of the mining industry for the past seven years have been dismal failures. We strongly argue that mining is not an efficient driver of economic development, and it is far from an effective poverty-reduction strategy.

Second, we associate ourselves with the Save Palawan Movement, because we share in their vision and the commitment to protect Palawan and we will gather 10 million signatures not just for Palawan but also for all key biodiversity and agricultural areas in the country.

Even if there is less than 1 million population in Palawan, we must remember, the richness of Palawan is for all the Filipinos, and we are tapping into that more than 90 million hearts and minds who share the belief that Palawan had more than to offer the Philippines and the whole world other than nickel, especially if its extraction threatens to destroy lives, culture, food and biodiversity.

Third, to label all mining activists as supporters of communism or rebellious acts are both dangerous and ignorant.  And that is a volatile mixture. We know that a lot of decision-makers, policy-makers and opinion-makers want the new president to succeed.  We share that same passion.  Members of ATM supported and campaigned for President Aquino and many in the alliance still believe and continue to work and engage the PNoy administration. However, our support and engagement do not necessarily mean we will abandon our position on the mining issue. PNoy being the head of government does not necessarily mean that the ills of mining that were perpetuated by GMA have either been corrected or gone away.  The attacks on Taganito mining projects, the activation of militias as a response, and the killing of Fr. Fausto Tentorio are clear evidences that the issue is still burning, the violence is escalating, and the conflicts remain unresolved.

ATM desires change towards sustainable development. Unfortunately the righteous path that has been offered by the PNoy administration on the mining issue has been riddled with potholes. We will never stop being activists until this is remedied.

We encourage media people, especially columnists and commentators to engage Alyansa Tigil Mina to clarify and understand better our positions on the controversial mining industry. We are more than eager to converse in an objective and rational manner. (30)

Farah Y. Sevilla
Policy Research and Advocacy Officer
Alyansa Tigil Mina National Secretariat
c/o Haribon Office, 2F Santos and Sons Bldg.
#973 Aurora Blvd., Cubao, Quezon City.
Telephone: +63 (02) 434-4642
Fax: +63 (02) 434-4696

[Press Release] Palaweños report militarization in ancestral domains IPs fear killing incident due to mining

Brooke’s Point, Palawan— Crossfire incidents forced indigenous peoples to leave their homes. Communities in Palawan are threatened by the presence of military in their areas allegedly due to infestation of New Peoples Army (NPA) in the mountains.

“Pinaputok ng mining company ng ang lugar naming ay infested ng mga NPA. Na di umanoy may mga NPA na sumusuporta sa anti-mining, lalo na sa amin ni Kap Lagrada. Hinahanap di umano ng mga NPA ang mga pro mining leaders dahilan para mag apply sila nga military sa area lalo na sa mining claim (Mining companies here reported that there are members of NPA here, that NPAs are supporting anti-mining struggle. NPA are allegedly looking for IP leaders who are pro-mining that is why there is a need to deploy military in areas where mining activities are present) said Artiso Mandawa, chairperson of Ancestral Land Domain Watch Network of Palawan (ALDAW) and Palawan Provincial Consultative Body.

Mandawa further reported that it has been almost two months since military and policemen regularly go up and down, even passing through their ancestral domain. In the morning of April 29, one squad in full battle gear again trekked to the mountains.

Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina exclaimed, “This is clearly harassment and we forward our concern to President Aquino and the Commission on Human Rights to act on this. We hope that the government will not allow another life to be taken to quiet down the anti-mining struggle.”

“Two weeks ago, IPs were taken by policemen for interrogation without due process. People left their homes because they might be caught in crossfire—but we see this as actions that will only lead to further harassment and the free entry of three giant mining companies,” added Mandawa.

Before Holy Week, President Benigno “PNoy” Aquino, III cancelled the Financial and Technical Assistance Agreements issued to MBMI Resources Inc covering some 12,000 hectares of land in the municipalities of Rizal, Bataraza and Narra in Southern Palawan.

ALDAW Network is an advocacy-campaign network of Indigenous Peoples jointly constituted by NATRIPAL (United Tribes of Palawan) and BANGSA PALAWAN PHILIPPINES (Indigenous Alliance for Equity and Wellbeing).

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who are opposing the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines.

Press Release
May 2, 2011
For more information:
Artiso Mandawa, ALDAW Chairman, (0905) 614.56.31 <aldawnetwork@gmail.com>
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, (0927) 761.76.02 <nc@alyansatigilmina.net>
Farah Sevilla, ATM Policy & Advocacy Officer, (0915) 331.33.61 <policy@alyansatigilmina.net>

[In the news]Mining as big ticket industry to save our poor – FROM A DISTANCE By Carmen N. Pedrosa | The Philippine Star News Opinion

Mining as big ticket industry to save our poor – FROM A DISTANCE By Carmen N. Pedrosa | The Philippine Star News Opinion.

FROM A DISTANCE By Carmen N. Pedrosa (The Philippine Star)

There are several sides in the mining controversy following the landslide that killed more than a dozen people in Pantukan town, Compostela Valley. The Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan-PNE) and Bantay Kalikasan is one. It immediately blamed large-scale mining although the disaster involved its opposite  small mining or mining by poor people with picks and shovels. This line of attack is similar to the Ortega murder when his murder was blamed for his broadcasts against mining in Palawan. Ortega is a broadcaster, a journalist, who, true to his calling, took up a number of advocacies, mining being one of them. He was also against graft.

The initial findings of Ortega’s alleged murder leads to his crusade against local officials whom he accused of graft. The graft comes from the misuse of funds from the share of local authorities from Malampaya, the oil and gas being piped into the city by its owners Shell and the Lopez-owned First Philippine Holdings. (It is the same First Philippine Holdings that has been sued by condominium owners of West Tower where a leaking oil pipe was found). We will never hear of this from Bantay Kalikasan even if oil exploration is mining and is equally a source of environmental degradation. Gasoline and oil coming from mined fossil fuels run electricity, cars and most industries.

I am all for guarding our environment and the judicious use of our natural resources, but any campaign against mining should be fair and applied equally. Groups that want mining banned are being hypocritical because almost all that we use in our daily lives come from metals and minerals whether cars, computers, medical instruments and houses.

Allied with the Bantay Kalikasan are sectors of the Catholic church with one bishop calling for a moratorium on mining until “an efficient monitoring is in place”. One of the injured miners asked the bishop “whether he could also put a moratorium on his family’s hunger.” Living in those outlying god-forsaken areas without roads or other amenities have made the poor living there turn to small mining for their livelihood. The Filipino saying “kapit sa patalim” best describes their predicament.

Read full article @ Philstar.com (link above)

[In the web] The Government Has Failed to Address Poverty in its First Year in Office – www.masa.ph

File photo source: www.masa.ph

File photo source: http://www.masa.ph

Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa
Source: http://www.masa.ph/

The latest SWS survey showing an increase in hunger is a major concern that must be taken seriously and not brushed off in a squabble over statistics. According to the March 4-7 poll 20.5% of respondents — or an estimated 4.1 million families — have gone hungry at least once in the past three months. This is up from the estimated 3.4 million families recorded in November 2010, i.e., almost one million extra families are going hungry today due to poverty. Along with the other examples of poverty and marginalization – such as the shocking deaths of up to 30 people in Palawan, including children, due to easily preventable ailments such as diarrhea – this demonstrates that the situation of the masa is deteriorating.

What is equally of concern to us is the response of President Noynoy Aquino: his expression of disbelief at the survey results. According to the President the figures are skewed because the impact of the conditional cash transfers (CCT) measures of the government implemented in Visayas and Mindanao, have not been reflected in the survey.

Bickering about statistics when people are going hungry does not do justice to a government that claims to be serious about reducing poverty. The fact is that wide-spread poverty, and related hunger, continues to exist and is the most serious socio-economic problem that the country faces today. We don’t need statistics to tell us this. The masa know this and we experience it in our daily lives. The deteriorating situation of the masa and the seeming inability of the government to reverse the trend represent the failure of the government to carry out its promise of poverty reduction during its first year in office.

The President refers to the CCT program, but CCTs are specific measures used to address some aspects of poverty and are usually short-term, implemented during periods of crises (and even on this score they’re effectiveness is debatable). CCTs are not development programs and cannot substitute for comprehensive development and poverty reduction strategies. The fact that the President can only point to the CCT measures is an indication that the government has no meaningful development program and strategy to address poverty. This is a major concern.

This is no time to squabble over statistics. We needed far reaching reforms and strategies – at least 12 months ago. Without meaningful measures and reforms the situation for the masa will continue to worsen, and poverty and hunger will increase. The President must put forward a concrete development plan. The President must have a clear strategy for poverty reduction and must have the political will to implement them. At the heart of such a strategy and plan should be far-reaching measures for job creation for the country’s citizens – not CCTs. There is no time to waste. The people are hungry and are getting desperate. A first step to providing the masa with immediate protection against sliding further into poverty would be for the President to mandate a meaningful increase in the minimum wage for all workers.

[Statement] Preventable child deaths in Palawan: What happened to the CCT program? – Partido Lakas ng Masa-Women

File photo source: www.masa.ph

File photo source: http://www.masa.ph

Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa
Source: http://www.masa.ph/

According to the latest reports at least 30 people, mostly children belonging to a Palawan tribe, died in what health authorities suspect to be an outbreak of cholera due to contaminated water. At least seven out of every ten dead were children under five years of age. The tribal community struck by suspected cholera live in Bataraza town.

“We were told that the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program would reach out to communities such as these, and provide households cash and other services for health and nutritional expenses. Palawan is also supposed to be one of the 20 poorest provinces in the country where the CCT program is being implemented. In fact the province has been described as a Set 2 beneficiary area, where the CCT program was started in April 2009 under the Arroyo administration and has been continued until 2014 under the government of President Noynoy Aquino. It was supposed to address poverty and improve the health of precisely these types of poor and marginalized communities. If the CCT was really effective, why should such disasters happen?” Emma Garcia, spokesperson for PLM-Women queried?

“We want some clarification on this from the DSWD Secretary Dinky Solliman and other agencies concerned with the implementation of the CCT program. Was the CCT program implemented in these areas affected by the cholera? If not, why not? If so, what are the results? Why wasn’t this epidemic prevented?”

“We organized a women’s picket outside the Department of Health on Friday April 08 and PLM-Women are prepared to continue these women’s pickets outside the DSWD and other relevant agencies until their questions are answered.”

That children are dying due to preventable ailments such as diarrhea is an outrage that’s happening in 21st century Philippines. And the fact is that this is not an isolated incident. According to UNICEF Philippines, the UN organization mandated to work for children’s rights, diarrhea is a leading cause of under-five deaths in the country, responsible for almost 10,000 deaths per year.

“We call on the government of President Aquino for action, not mere words and sweet talk. Increase the health care budget now, establish a system of universal health care, and push for the immediate passage of the RH Bill which will save mothers and childrens lives”, Emma Garcia said.

Partido Lakas ng Masa — Women

[In the news] Dirty water blamed for Palawan deaths | ABS-CBN News | Latest Philippine Headlines, Breaking News, Video, Analysis, Features

Dirty water blamed for Palawan deaths | ABS-CBN News | Latest Philippine Headlines, Breaking News, Video, Analysis, Features.

Source: abs-cbnNEWS.com


PALAWAN, Philippines – Dirty water has been blamed for deaths of 20 people in Bataraza town in Palawan province.

A Department of Health (DOH) study showed that the water used by villagers in Sitio Linao, Barangay Colandanum, tested positive for E. coli bacteria.

DOH tests also identified cholera as the illness of 3 Palao-an natives who were suffering from diarrhea like the other victims.

Dr. Eduardo Cruz, provincial health officer of Palawan, said more than 300 people have fallen ill in the community.

The DOH has distributed water containers and water purifier solutions while ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya has given water purifying tablets to villagers . – Report from Kori Quintos, ABS-CBN News

[in Facebook] Save Palawan – www.facebook.com/pages/One-Palawan

Source: http://www.facebook.com/pages/One-Palawan/


One Palawan FB

Mining has now become a very serious threat to the ecosystem of the province of Palawan. What with the horrible reputation of mining concessions all over the country wherein most fail to deliver promised wealth and only usually result to grave environmental damage causing drought and even sickness. Which is why the province of Palawan has to come together as one in preserving its greatest treasure—its environment.

Declared as a human and biosphere reserve of UNESCO, it would be a great disservice to the nation if the citizens and officials of the province would so willingly destroy what is becoming more and more a luxury on earth—fresh air, clean water, lush rainforests, protected wildlife, healthy reefs, etc. One Palawan is a concrete step in which the people of Palawan can unite to protect its environment.


As the youth, our duty to spur change comes with our age. It has been the selfsame duty of all the generations of youth before us and all those to come. Having a natural deep-well of idealism, an instinctive quest for betterment and an inherent drive for learning, the youth are a perfect group in inciting change in any society.

Save Palawan poster source FB

As the youth of today, it is our generation’s principal task to protect the environment from careless destruction because if we fail to live up to this challenge, it is we, and our children to come, who will suffer the most. It is the burden of our generation to impede the rapid effects of environmental destruction and climate change. But it is also the gift of our generation to alter humanity’s history by the choices we make today.

As Palaweños, we have been endowed with a very unique responsibility to our environment. Palawan is the country’s last frontier and is a matchless gem in the world. While more and more forests are being cut down all over the world, Palawan has been preserved and still remains as a biodiversity hotspot.

Our province has 7 declared protected areas, 11 important bird areas, home to 49 animals and 56 botanical species found in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species and is one of the 10 sites of the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) in the Philippines. The province also has 17 terrestrial key biodiversity areas (KBA). Due to Palawan’s environmental richness, UNESCO declared Palawan as a biosphere reserve and also has 2 world heritage sites.

This wealth is why the fact that there are 354 mining applications all over Palawan is alarming. Not only will it destroy our beautiful forests and rid of our endemic flora and fauna, but it threatens the security of every Palaweño. Mining causes severe environmental damages such as the pollution and drying up of our watersheds; the increased probability of soil erosions; the movement of soil and chemicals from the mountains to the plains inhibiting plant growth on farm lands, threatening marine life and causing diseases; the destruction of the ancestral domains of our indigenous tribes and the possible devastation to a booming industry that is tourism.

As Filipinos, we know that the laws of the land should be followed by both government officials and the civil society. Ironically, there are enough provisions in the law that should protect Palawan from mining. A resolution passed in November of 2008 by the Provincial Board secures a 25-year moratorium on small-scale mining in Palawan. In 1967, Executive Proclamation 216 declared Palawan as a “National Game Refuge and Bird Sanctuary.” This classification, along with other environmental qualifications of Palawan, should ban mining in the entire province as stated in the Philippine Mining Act.

It is our task as responsible Filipinos to follow the laws and to aid in enforcing such laws. Although we may not be in office, we are held as accountable as our leaders.

This campaign aims to accomplish all these by ensuring that mining in the province of Palawan is stopped through our main strategy which is an Information Education Campaign.

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