Monthly Archives: February 2009

Palace P 5.3 B rural roads project, a farm to pocket roads project,

Palace P 5.3 B rural roads project, a farm to pocket roads project,
says Pamalakaya

The left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Wednesday said the P 5.3 billion rural roads project of the Macapagal-Arroyo government is more of a farm-to-pocket roads project, rather than a genuine development blue print to arrest the current economic and financial crisis.

“The government will exploit the most-abused financial escapade “farm-to-market roads project” to pursue its farm-to-pocket roads project at the expense of the Filipino taxpaying public,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said in a press statement.

“The people of this country are suffering from extreme economic and political crisis. But this government solution to the crisis is to build roads identical to President Diosdado Macapagal-Boulevard to ensure fat kickbacks. The regime of greed must be buried six feet under,” the Pamalakaya leader said.

Hicap said high crime of corruption is the real agenda of Malacañang in pursuing the 2,000 kilometers of farm-to-market roads nationwide. “What roads will the government build this time? Roads to perdition? Roads to destruction? Or roads to hell? Or all of the above?” the Pamalakaya leader added.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) said the projects, which will start this week, would benefit 212,000 farmers in food-producing and hunger-prone areas, and would create 53,000 new jobs this year.

Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, Cabinet coordinator for the Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP) in Northern Luzon and Bohol said more than half of the total length of the farm-to-market-roads would be built in Central Philippines and the Mindanao super region where major food production sites are located.

In a statement sent to media, Secretary Yap said the national government under CLEEP will build 567.6 kilometers of roads will be built in Central Philippines and are expected to benefit 56,760 workers and create 14,190 new jobs, while 536.94 kilometers of roads in Mindanao will benefit 53,694 hectares of farmers and will employ 13,294 workers.

The North Luzon Agribusiness Quadrangle, where Secretary Yap was designated by the President as its development coordinator will have 420.8 kilometers of farm-to-market roads which the DA said will benefit 42,080 farmers and will require 10,520 jobs, while 366.8 kilometers of farm-to-market roads will be constructed in the Metro Manila Urban Railway, which include Central Luzon to help 36,680 farmers and create 9,170 jobs.

Yap said another 230.8 kilometers of farm-to-market roads which will benefit 23,080 farmers and will provide 5,770 fresh jobs will be constructed in other priority areas identified by the national government.

But Pamalakaya said the P 53.B rural roads project of Malacañang wants to accomplish several objectives like corruption for pro-Arroyo officials in different branches of government and local government units, and at the same time, an early electoral campaign for Palace favored bets in 2010 national and local elections, that’s why the projects are placed in vote-rich regions and provinces all over the country. #

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under corruption

Fishers group tells SC: Ruling on Manila Bay being used to kill livelihood

Fishers group tells SC: Ruling on Manila Bay being used to kill livelihood

The Supreme Court decision on Manila Bay clean up is being used and abused by government agencies to effectively carry out the demolition of houses and the destruction of livelihood of small fisherfolk and urban poor people, according to the militant fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya).

In their 14-page “very urgent and respectful motion for leave to intervene” filed at the Supreme Court this afternoon, the petitioners Pamalakaya, its regional chapter Pamalakaya-Southern Tagalog, Anakpawis party list, Samahang Magdaragat ng Bacoor Cavite and the affected fisherfolk, the movants said small fishermen of Manila Bay are one with the public in approving the Decision of the Honorable Court promulgated on December 18, 2008, for the clean-up and rehabilitation of the Manila Bay.

“Unfortunately, however, the decision was used and abused by the petitioners, making it the basis for the illegal and incessant demolition of their houses, fish traps and fish cages and the destruction of one of their livelihood which is growing of mussels,” they said.

Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap, one of the petitioners said: “Let it be told that the decision of the Honorable Court does not warrant or suggest that the rights of small fishermen in the Manila Bay be trampled upon.”

The Pamalakaya leader added: “Nothing in the decision gives the petitioners, especially the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) the authority to demolish and destroy the houses and source of livelihood of the movants. They or the structures they have put up in Manila Bay were not the source of the pollution, toxic waste or contamination of the bay.”

Pamalakaya-Southern Tagalog secretary general Pedro Gonzales said it is on this premise that movants hereto move that they be allowed to intervene and given the opportunity to be heard on this noble issue of cleaning, protecting and rehabilitating the Manila Bay.

“Our fisherfolk and poor people in Manila Bay should not bear the brunt of the decision but the real culprit behind the sorry state of the Manila Bay. They should not be deprived of life, livelihood and property by the erroneous interpretation and implementation of the petitioners of the Honorable Court’s decision. For rightly so, they are not the cause of the effluence of the Manila Bay but some other factors, which, unfortunately were not given much attention by the petitioners,” said Gonzales.

Movants have been adversely affected by the erroneous interpretation and implementation of the petitioners-agencies, especially the DENR, of the Honorable Court’s decision. They have no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. They are directly filing this motion to the Honorable Court as it was its very decision that has been used to justify the demolition and destruction of the source of livelihood of the movants by the petitioners-government agencies;

On December 18, 2008, the Honorable Court in the instant case rendered a decision directing the petitioners government agencies to clean up, rehabilitate, and preserve Manila Bay, and restore and maintain its waters to SB level (Class B sea waters per Water Classification Tables under DENR Administrative Order No. 34 [1990]) to make them fit for swimming, skin-diving, and other forms of contact recreation;

But Pamalakaya said the DENR, in February caused the destruction of the mussels, fish cages and fish traps of the movants. Ostensibly, however, the decision of the Honorable Court was merely used as cloak to justify the intention of the DENR to get rid of the structures established and used by the movants to grow mussels and to catch fishes in Manila Bay in order to give way to the construction of R-1 Expressway Extension Project of the Philippine Reclamation Authority.

The militant group said on the guise of implementing the decision of the Honorable Court for the clean up, protection and rehabilitation of Manila Bay, the DENR has dismantled the structures used by the movants for growing mussels and for catching fishes in the Manila Bay.

“But it could not be denied that their real intent is to get rid these structures to allow the unhampered construction of R-1 Expressway Extension Project and reclamation of the portion of the Manila Bay without risk of civil, criminal and/or administrative suits and without compensating anything to the movants,” said Pamalakaya.

In their motion, Pamalakaya be noted that the 7-kilometer R-1 Expressway Extension Project will involve the reclamation of 7,500 hectares of submerged public lands and mangrove areas in Manila. The project which is approximately 40 percent completed will further destroy the remaining coral and mangrove areas in the Cavite portion of Manila Bay and will remove 26,000 fisherfolk and urban poor families, including herein movants from their main source of livelihood and abode;

The group said that “it must be said then, that the misplaced interpretation and interpretation of the decision of the Honorable Court by the DENR will defeat the significance and usefulness of the decision. The DENR has led its sight to the small fishermen, which includes herein movants, while turning a blind eye to the destructive effect of the construction of the reclamation projects in Manila Bay.”

“As it was already the case and because the clean up, protection and rehabilitation of Manila Bay is a continuing act, movants will be adversely affected by the acts of the petitioners. They are mistakenly being targeted as the source of the pollution that beset the Manila Bay for which reason petitioners are supposedly justified to dismantle their houses, fish pens or fish traps and the other structures used to grow mussels therein. On the other hand, the petitioner-government agencies, especially the DENR, have not lifted any finger to stop, or even just to investigate the harmful effects of the reclamation activities undertaken in the Manila Bay.

The group also said “as such, movants have the right to intervene as their rights have already been trampled upon, violated and adversely affected by the erroneous interpretation and implementation of the Honorable Court’s decision by the petitioner-agencies while they ignore the plea to study the effects of the on-going reclamation projects in the Manila Bay.”

Pamalakaya said the small fisherfolk were directly affected and in fact are the actual victims of the erroneous interpretation and application of the respondents of the Honorable Court’s decision adverted to above, they have likewise the right to intervene to seek protection from the Honorable Court of their rights and interest. In the minimum, they expect clarification from the Honorable Court on the application of the decision to their right to life, property and livelihood.

The group said government reclamation and development projects along the bay like the on–going construction of R-1 Expressway Extension Project, which directly affects their livelihood and will destroy the further destroy the remaining coral and mangrove areas in the Cavite portion of Manila Bay, movants who are directly affected thereof has also the right to bring to the attention of the Honorable Court that the reclamation of the Manila Bay is the first and foremost reason of the effluence and destruction of Marine Life thereof and not the fishing activities of the small fishermen thereof.

Pamalakaya said the task of their intervention, therefore, is to enable movants to articulate their position on the noble purpose of cleaning, protecting and rehabilitating the Manila Bay, and to seek clarification and protection from the Honorable Court on the scope of the decision to the small fishermen of the Manila Bay; to bring to the attention of the Honorable Court the misplaced interpretation and implementation of the decision by the government agencies; and the neglect to include the reclamation activities in the Manila Bay as the first and foremost reason for its destruction. #

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Pamalakaya memorandum to SC on Manila Bay ruling

Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

METROPOLITAN MANILA G.R. Nos. 171947-48
DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, ET AL.,
Petitioners,

– versus –

CONCERNED RESIDENTS OF
MANILA BAY, represented and
joined by DIVINA V. ILAS, ET AL.,
Respondents.
x – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – x

PAMBANSANG LAKAS NG MGA MAMALAKAYA NG PILIPINAS (PAMALAKAYA) AND PAMBANSANG LAKAS NG MGA MAMALAKAYA NG PILIPINAS-SOUTHERN TAGALOG (PAMALAKAYA-ST), as represented by PEDRO GONZALES, ANAKPAWIS PARTYLIST as represented by CHERRY CLEMENTE, SAMAHANG MAGDARAGAT NG BACOOR CAVITE as represented and joined by MICHELLE P. GAYO, JIMBOY FRANCISCO, LUZAINE MILABO, ROGELIO CANTON, RENATO PRIETO, EDITO FERNANDEZ, EVELYN MARANA, SUSAN PAEZ, JESUS BALQUIN, DONATO VILLAFUERTE, ERLINDA QUILAPIO, ILUMINADA CABORNAY, CHARITO FRANCISCO, EDITO FERNANDEZ, GONDILINDA FERNANDEZ, REYNALDO SALAC, NENITA LAGARAN, SARAH CARNAJE, and RODOLFO TORRES
x – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – x
MEMORANDUM FOR INTERVENORS

INTERVENORS, by the undersigned counsel, unto the Honorable Court, most respectfully submit this Memorandum and aver that:

Prefatory Statement:

1. The task to clean up, rehabilitate and protect the Manila Bay is long overdue. Manila Bay is the source of livelihood of the intervenors and as such, they are one with the Honorable Court and the respondents in the pursuit of the goal to restore and maintain the Manila Bay to SB level not just to make it fit for swimming, skin-diving, and other forms of contact recreation but also to maintain it as the enduring source of livelihood of the fisherfolks therein.

Material Facts of the Case:

2. Manila Bay, prior to its deterioration was once the second most productive fishing ground in the Philippines. It is home to 23 million Filipinos, from Central Luzon-Bulacan, some parts of Pampanga, Bataan, National Capital Region and Cavite. Because of rampant reclamation projects in Manila Bay, its mangrove areas shrank from 54,000 hectares several decades ago, to 2,000 hectares in 1990 and further 794 hectares in 1995;
3. Almost 20,000 hectares of Manila Bay have already been reclaimed over the last 30 to 40 years to give way to special economic zone projects in Bataan and Cavite, the commercial spaces occupied by the Manila Film Center, the GSIS Building in Pasay City, the Cultural Center of the Philippines and Folk Arts Theater in Manila, and the SM Mall of Asia and other commercial companies in Pasay City and Parañaque City;

4. From 1992 to 1995, the demolitions of coastal shanties became an everyday ordeal in Pasay Reclamation area. Houses were uprooted on almost day-to-day basis. Small and big time bribery to divide the communities were conducted to facilitate the demolition of coastal communities. This scenario was lately resurrected when, after the decision of the Honorable Court was promulgated in December 18, 2008, the DENR caused the demolition and destruction of the houses, fish pens, fish cages and fish traps of small fisherfolks in the Manila Bay especially in Bacoor, Cavite supposedly as part of the cleanup drive of DENR of the bay;

5. During the year 1992-1995, some 3,500 small fisherfolk and their families in Pasay Reclamation Area and another 3,000 coastal and urban poor families along the coastal shores of Parañaque were evicted by the government of former President Fidel Ramos to give way to reclamation projects which is now home of the commercial buildings thereof;
6. Almost 60 percent of pollution entering Manila Bay comes through the Pasig River, and 80 percent of the pollution comes from industries and commercial establishments situated along the country’s major river system in the National Capital Region. Another 15 percent of the pollution that gets into Manila Bay comes from Pampanga River, which is colonized by big and small polluting factories;

7. Just recently, the DENR is blaming over fishing as a major factor in the degradation of Manila Bay but for the intervenors and fisherfolk groups it is a flimsy and ridiculous excuse.

8. In the year 2006, the national government through the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) and its contractor partner UEM-Mara Philippine Corp. are reclaiming an additional 7,500 hectares of coastal waters off Manila Bay for the R-1 Expressway Extension Project, which will be annexed to the Manila-Cavite Coastal Road Project;

9. On June 21, 2007, President Arroyo signed Executive Order No. 629 directing the PRA to develop Sangley Point in Cavite City into a logistical hub with modern seaport and an airport, citing the R-1 expressway extension project as enabling component;

10. The R-1 Extension Project resulted to diminished fish catch and destruction of remaining corals and mangroves in Manila Bay. The same Cavite road project is also being blamed for the flooding in Bacoor and nearby coastal towns in the province;

11. The PRA also plans to reclaim 5,000 hectares of coastal waters in Cavite City to expand Sangley port, and this undertaking together with the R-1 Expressway Extension Project will affect the livelihood and the housing of 26,000 fisherfolk and urban poor families in the coastal towns of Bacoor, Kawit, Binakayan, Noveleta and Cavite City;

12. On top of the R-1 Expressway Road Extension Project and the Sangley Port project, the Macapagal-Arroyo government has given the state-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) the environmental clearance certificate and the big go-signal to develop the 15 billion dollar casino in the 90-hectare reclaimed area in Roxas Boulevard into a Las Vegas style casino and theme park complex in Manila Bay ($400-M investment in 2 years);

13. In February 2009, DENR caused the destruction of the mussels, fish cages and fish traps of the movants. Every week, eight hundred fourteen thousand pesos (P814,000.00) of public funds were used by DENR in demolishing fish traps and mussel growing structures in Manila Bay, including make-shift structures.

14. In the demolition of the fish traps and mussel growing structures of the small fishermen, the DENR were invoking the decision of the Honorable Court as basis thereof;

15. Also, supposedly based on the decision of the Honorable Court, the DENR intends to wipe out all fish traps inside the 4 hectare fishpen belt of Manila Bay to fast-track the reclamation in favor of the project R-1 Expressway. Malacañang, the DENR, the DPWH and the PRA in partnership with UEM-Mara Philippine Corporation are moving heaven and earth to jumpstart all the projects in Manila Bay and the affected fisherfolk and urban poor families are being offered compensation ranging from five thousand pesos (P5,000) to twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) displacement fees so they could move out of the areas targeted for the projects;

16. Moreover, the 7-kilometer R-1 extension project, which will involve the reclamation of 7,500 hectares of submerged public lands and mangrove areas in Manila Bay will connect the Manila-Cavite Road from Bacoor to Kawit, and it will continue inland up to Noveleta for a total of 11 kilometers. The project will further destroy the remaining coral and mangrove areas in the Cavite portion of Manila Bay. Aside from environmental destruction, the R-1 Expressway Project will remove 26,000 fisherfolk and urban poor families from their main source of livelihood and abode;

17. In addition, another 5,000 hectares of coastal waters will be reclaimed by PRA to develop and widen the land area of Sangley port to make it one of major and most modern logistical hubs not only in Southern Tagalog region, but in the entire country.

Issues:

I. WHETHER OR NOT THE DECEMBER 18, 2008 DECISION OF THE HONORABLE COURT JUSTIFIED OR AUTHORIZED THE DEMOLITION OF THE HOUSES OF SMALL FISHERMEN IN THE COAST OF THE MANILA BAY AND THE DESTRUCTION OF THEIR FISH PENS, FISH TRAPS AND FISH CAGES INCLUDING THE MUSSEL GROWING STRUCTURES THEREIN.

II. WHETHER OR NOT THE RECLAMATION OF THE SUBMERGE PUBLIC LANDS AND MANGROVE AREAS OF THE MANILA BAY INCLUDING THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE R-1 EXPRESSWAY EXTENSION PROJECT ARE COVERED BY THE CONTINUING MANDAMUS FOR THE CLEAN UP, REHABILITATION AND PROTECTION OF THE MANILA BAY.

Arguments/Discussion:

The structures used to grow mussels and to catch fish that were put up by the small fishefolks are not the cause of degradation of the Manila Bay.

18. The decision of the Honorable Court dated December 18, 2008 does not warrant or suggest that the rights of small fishermen in the Manila Bay be trampled upon. Nothing in the decision gives the petitioners, especially the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) the authority to demolish and destroy the houses and source of livelihood of the movants.

19. Let it be noted that they or the structures they have put up in Manila Bay were not the source of the pollution, toxic waste or contamination of the bay. It is the source of their livelihood and these activities of the small fisherfolks constitute passive fishing, and therefore not destructive to the environment and the Manila Bay but in fact, they are environment friendly;

20. More importantly, the fishing activities of the small fisherfolks are not the cause of the degradation of the Manila Bay but the toxic chemicals and industrial waste of factories and companies. They were sourced not from the Manila Bay itself. As stated in the material facts of the case, almost 60 percent of pollution entering Manila Bay comes through the Pasig River, and 80 percent of the pollution comes from industries and commercial establishments situated along the country’s major river system in the National Capital Region. Another 15 percent of the pollution that gets into Manila Bay comes from Pampanga River, is colonized by big and small polluting factories.

21. Prescinding from the above, there is no justification whatsoever for the demolition of the houses of the small fisherfolks of Manila Bay and the destruction of the mussel-growing structures, fish traps or cages that they have put up therein;

22. Ostensibly, therefore, the decision of the Honorable Court was merely used as cloak to justify the intention of the DENR to get rid of the structures established and used by the movants to grow mussels and to catch fishes in Manila Bay in order to give way to the construction of R-1 Expressway Extension Project of the Philippine Reclamation Authority. The same decision will later on be used by the petitioners to justify the further demolition of the houses of small fishermen and the destruction of the mussel-growing structures, fish traps and fish cages to give way to further reclamation activities in the bay. Thus, on the guise of implementing the decision of the Honorable Court for the clean up, protection and rehabilitation of Manila Bay, the DENR has dismantled and will dismantle the structures used by the movants for growing mussels and for catching fishes in the Manila Bay. But it could not be denied that their real intent is to get rid these structures to allow the unhampered construction of R-1 Expressway Extension Project and reclamation of the portion of the Manila Bay without risk of civil, criminal and/or administrative suits and without compensating anything to the movants.

23. It must be said then, that the misplaced interpretation and interpretation of the decision of the Honorable Court by the petitioners especially the DENR will defeat the significance and usefulness of the decision. They have led their sight to the small fishermen, while turning a blind eye to the destructive effect of the conversion and reclamation projects in Manila Bay;

The massive reclamation, privatization and conversion of the public lands and coastal communities along the Manila Bay should be covered by the decision and continuing mandamus to ensure the complete clean up, rehabilitation and protection of the bay.

24. The material facts of the case should be taken seriously. It shows that the massive privatization and conversion of public lands and coastal communities along the bay since the Marcos dictatorship up to present administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the form of reclamation and subsequent lease or sell out to private companies is the principal reason why Manila Bay is under the Intensive Care Unit, and suffering from environmental comatose. Unfortunately, however, the decision of the Honorable Court seemed not to have covered or included it on the activities that need to be enjoined or regulated in the bay.

25. Restating the facts, it is clear that almost 20,000 hectares of Manila Bay have already been reclaimed over the last 30 to 40 years to give way to special economic zone projects in Bataan and Cavite, the commercial spaces occupied by the Manila Film Center, the GSIS Building in Pasay City, the Cultural Center of the Philippines and Folk Arts Theater in Manila, and the SM Mall of Asia and other commercial companies in Pasay City and Parañaque City. These activities resulted to ecological imbalance in the Manila Bay are not to mention that it has destroyed a fertile fishing ground and decreases the area of the bay.

26. In addition, there is the on-going construction of the R-1 Expressway Extension Project which has already resulted to diminished fish catch and destruction of remaining corals and mangroves in Manila Bay. The same is also being blamed for the flooding in Bacoor and nearby coastal towns in the province;

27. Let it be noted that the 7-kilometer R-1 Expressway Extension Project will involve the reclamation of 7,500 hectares of submerged public lands and mangrove areas in Manila. The project which is approximately 40 percent completed will further destroy the remaining coral and mangrove areas in the Cavite portion of Manila Bay and will remove 26,000 fisherfolk and urban poor families, including herein movants from their main source of livelihood and abode;

28. As was already stated, the R-1 project has also already caused the destruction not only of the corals of the Manila Bay but also of the livelihood and fishing activities of small fishermen in the coastal town of Cavite especially in Bacoor.

29. Prescinding from the above, the intervenors submit that the Honorable Court should also look at the reclamation projects undertaken in the Manila Bay and include the same in the activities that should regulated if not discontinued to ensure the success of the clean up, rehabilitation and protection of the Manila Bay so as not to put the landmark decision naught and useless.

PRAYER

WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, it is most respectfully prayed from the Honorable Court to:
1. ORDER the petitioners, especially the DENR to cease and desist from the demolition of the houses of the small fishermen in the coastal towns of Manila Bay;

2. ORDER the petitioners, especially the DENR to cease and desist from destroying the mussel-growing structures, fish pens, fish traps and/or fish cages of the small fishermen in the Manila Bay;

3. ENJOIN the reclamation activities in the Manila Bay;

4. ENJOIN the construction of the R-1 expressway Construction Project unless it is shown that it will not destroy the ecological balance of the Manila Bay, the livelihood of the small fisherfolks thereon, and that it will not pollute and contribute to the further degradation of the bay;

OTHER RELIEF, just and OTHER RELIEF, just and equitable under the premises, is likewise prayed for.

February 23, 2009, Quezon City for Manila.

JOBERT I. PAHILGA
Counsel for the Intervenors
PTR No. 0631912/03-06-2008/Navotas
IBP No. 748133/03-17-2008/Antique
MCLE Compliance No. II-0012413/09-08-2008
Roll No. 48289
SENTRO PARA SA TUNAY NA REPORMANG AGRARYO (SENTRA)
161-B Chico St., Project 2, Quezon City

Copy furnished:

OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR-GENERAL
134 Amorosolo St., Legaspi Village
Makati City

ATTY. ANTONIO OPOSA
Counsel for the Respondents
6-J Westgate Tower, Investment Drive
1780 Alabang, Muntinlupa City

Republic of the Philippines )
Quezon City ) s.s.

VERIFICATION/CERTIFICATION

WE, FERNANDO HICAP, CHERRY CLEMENTE, MICHELLE GAYO, JIMBOY FRANCISCO, LUZAINE MILABO, ROGELIO CANTON, RENATO PRIETO, EDITO FERNANDEZ, EVELYN MARANA, SUSAN PAEZ, JESUS BAQUIN, DONATO VILLAFUERTE, ERLINDA QUILAPIO, ILUMINADA CABORNAY, CHARITO FRANCISCO, EDITO FERNANDEZ, GONDILINDA FERNANDEZ, REYNALDO SALAC, NENITA LAGARAN, SARAH CARNAJE and RODOLFO TORRES, all of legal age, Filipino, after having been duly sworn to in accordance with law, hereby depose and state that:

1. We are the intervenors in this case;

2. We have caused the preparation of this memorandum; have read and understood the contents thereof; and that the same are true and correct of my personal knowledge and based on authentic records.

3. We further certify that we have not commenced any other action or proceedings involving the same case in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or in any other tribunal or agency; and that to the best of our knowledge, no such action or proceeding is pending therein except the instant case. Furthermore, should we thereafter learn that a similar action or proceeding has been filed or is pending, we undertake to report such fact within five (5) days therefrom to the court or agency in which the original pleading and sworn certification have been filed.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, we have set our hands this 23rd day of February 2009 at Quezon City, Metro Manila.

FERNANDO HICAP PEDRO GONZALES
TIN/ID No._______________ TIN/ID No. _________________
CHERRY CLEMENTE JIMBOY FRANCISCO
TIN/ID No._______________ TIN/ID No. _________________

LUZAINE MILABO ROGELIO CANTON
TIN/ID No._______________ TIN/ID No. _________________

RENATO PRIETO EDITO FERNANDEZ
TIN/ID No._______________ TIN/ID No. _________________

EVELYN MARANA SUSAN PAEZ
TIN/ID No._______________ TIN/ID No. _________________

JESUS BAQUIN DONATO VILLAFUERTE
TIN/ID No._______________ TIN/ID No. _________________

ERLINDA QUILAPIO ILUMINADA CABORNAY
TIN/ID No._______________ TIN/ID No. _________________

CHARITO FRANCISCO EDITO FERNANDEZ
TIN/ID No._______________ TIN/ID No. _________________

GONDILINDA FERNANDEZ REYNALDO SALAC
TIN/ID No._______________ TIN/ID No. _________________

NENITA LAGARAN SARAH CARNAJE
TIN/ID No._______________ TIN/ID No. _________________

RODOLFO TORRES MICHELLE GAYO
TIN/ID No. ______________ TIN/ID No.

SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this 23rd day of February 2009, affiants personally known to me and exhibited their Taxpayer’s Identification No./Identification No. indicated below their names and signature.

Doc. No. ____;
Page No. ____; NOTARY PUBLIC
Book No. ____;
Series of 2009

AFFIDAVIT OF SERVICE

I, ATTY. JOBERT I. PAHILGA, of legal age, Filipino, married and with office address at Sentro para sa Tunay na Repormnag Agraryo (SENTRA) after having been duly sworn to in accordance with law hereby depose and state that:

1. On February 23, 2009, I have cause the service of the foregoing motion and the attached memorandum to the above-named counsel for the respondent by registered mail with return card by depositing the same at the Quezon City Post Office with the following particulars:

OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR GENERAL
134 Amorosolo St., Legaspi Village
Makati City
Registry Receipt No. _____________

ATTY. ANTONIO OPOSA
6-J Westgate Tower, Investment Drive
1780 Alabang, Muntinlupa City

SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this 23rd day of February 2009, affiants personally known to me and exhibited their Taxpayer’s Identification No./Identification No. indicated below their names and signature.

Doc. No. ____;
Page No. ____; NOTARY PUBLIC
Book No. ____;
Series of 2009

Leave a comment

Filed under environment

Pamalakaya’s petition to Supreme Court regarding Manila Bay ruling

Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

METROPOLITAN MANILA G.R. Nos. 171947-48
DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, ET AL.,
Petitioners,

– versus –

CONCERNED RESIDENTS OF
MANILA BAY, represented and
joined by DIVINA V. ILAS, ET AL.,
Respondents.
x – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – x

PAMBANSANG LAKAS NG MGA MAMALAKAYA NG PILIPINAS (PAMALAKAYA) AND PAMBANSANG LAKAS NG MGA MAMALAKAYA NG PILIPINAS-SOUTHERN TAGALOG (PAMALAKAYA-ST), as represented by PEDRO GONZALES, ANAKPAWIS PARTYLIST as represented by CHERRY CLEMENTE, SAMAHANG MAGDARAGAT NG BACOOR CAVITE as represented and joined by MICHELLE P. GAYO, JIMBOY FRANCISCO, LUZAINE MILABO, ROGELIO CANTON, RENATO PRIETO, EDITO FERNANDEZ, EVELYN MARANA, SUSAN PAEZ, JESUS BALQUIN, DONATO VILLAFUERTE, ERLINDA QUILAPIO, ILUMINADA CABORNAY, CHARITO FRANCISCO, EDITO FERNANDEZ, GONDILINDA FERNANDEZ, REYNALDO SALAC, NENITA LAGARAN, SARAH CARNAJE, and RODOLFO TORRES
x – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – x
VERY URGENT AND RESPECTFUL MOTION
FOR LEAVE TO INTERVENE

MOVANTS, by the undersigned counsel, unto the Honorable Court, most respectfully aver that:

Prefatory Statement:

1. Movants small fishermen of Manila Bay are one with the public in approving the Decision of the Honorable Court promulgated on December 18, 2008, for the clean-up and rehabilitation of the Manila Bay. Unfortunately, however, the decision was used and abused by the petitioners, making it the basis for the illegal and incessant demolition of their houses, fish traps and fish cages and the destruction of one of their livelihood which is growing of mussels.

2. Let it be told that the decision of the Honorable Court does not warrant or suggest that the rights of small fishermen in the Manila Bay be trampled upon. Nothing in the decision gives the petitioners, especially the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) the authority to demolish and destroy the houses and source of livelihood of the movants. They or the structures they have put up in Manila Bay were not the source of the pollution, toxic waste or contamination of the bay.
3. It is on this premise that movants hereto move that they be allowed to intervene and given the opportunity to be heard on this noble issue of cleaning, protecting and rehabilitating the Manila Bay. They should not bear the brunt of the decision but the real culprit behind the sorry state of the Manila Bay. They should not be deprived of life, livelihood and property by the erroneous interpretation and implementation of the petitioners of the Honorable Court’s decision. For rightly so, they are not the cause of the effluence of the Manila Bay but some other factors, which, unfortunately were not given much attention by the petitioners.

The Movants:

4. Movant Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (hereinafter referred to as PAMALAKAYA), represented by its Chairperson Fernando Hicap, with office address at No. 18-A Mabuhay St., Central District, Diliman, Quezon City, is a people’s organization and a national federation of forty-three (43) provincial fisherfolks organizations duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It is filing this petition for and in behalf of its members comprising of the small fisherfolks of Manila Bay especially the victims of the illegal demolition of houses and the unauthorized destruction of fish traps, fish pens and cages because of the erroneous interpretation and application of the respondents of the Honorable Court’s decision. It can be served with notices, orders, resolutions and other process of the Honorable Court through the undersigned counsel at Sentro para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo (SENTRA), 161-B Chico St., Project 2, Quezon City;

5. Movant PAMALAKAYA-Southern Tagalog is the regional organization of PAMALAKAYA in the Southern Tagalog Region whose members especially those who are residing in the Province of Cavite are small fisherfolks in Manila Bay. It is being represented herein by its Secretary General Pedro Gonzales. It is filing this petition for and in behalf of its members, the small fisherfolks of Manila Bay, who are the victims of the illegal demolition of houses and the unauthorized destruction of fish pens and cages because of the erroneous interpretation and application of the respondents of the Honorable Court’s decision. It can be served with notices, orders, resolutions and other process of the Honorable Court through the undersigned counsel;

6. Anakpawis Partylist is a duly-accredited partylist organization that has currently one seat in the 14th Congress with address at Anakpawis Party-List National Headquarters, No. 56 K-9th Street, Quezon City. It is being represented herein by its Secretary General Cherry Clemente. It is filing this petition for and in behalf of the small fisherfolks of Manila Bay especially the victims of the illegal demolition of houses and the unauthorized destruction of fish pens and cages because of the erroneous interpretation and application of the respondents of the Honorable Court decision. It can be served with notices, orders, resolutions and other process of the Honorable Court through the undersigned counsel;

7. Samahang Mandaragat ng Bacoor Cavite is an organization of small fisherfolks in Bacoor, Cavite residing and fishing in the Manila Bay. It is a municipal chapter of PAMALAKAYA whose members are the ones directly affected and victimized by the illegal demolition of houses and the unauthorized destruction of fish pens and cages because of the erroneous interpretation and application of the respondents of the Honorable Court’s decision. It can be served with notices, orders, resolutions and other processes of the Honorable Court through the undersigned counsel;

8. Michelle Gayo, Jimboy Francisco, Luzaine Milabo, Rogelio Canton, Renato Prieto, Edito Fernandez, Evelyn Marana, Susan Paez, jesus baquin, Donato Villafuerte, Erlinda Quilapio, Iluminada Cabornay, Charito Francisco, Edito Fernandez, Gondilinda Fernandez, Reynaldo Salac, nenita Lagaran, Sarah Carnaje and Rodolfo Torres are members of Samahang Mandaragat ng Bacoor Cavite. They are filing the instant motion as representatives of their organization and in their individual capacities being themselves the victims of the illegal demolition and the unauthorized destruction of their fish pens and cages because of the erroneous interpretation and application of the respondents of the Honorable Court decision.

Reason for the Intervention:

9. Movants have been adversely affected by the erroneous interpretation and implementation of the petitioners-agencies, especially the DENR, of the Honorable Court’s decision. They have no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. They are directly filing this motion to the Honorable Court as it was its very decision that has been used to justify the demolition and destruction of the source of livelihood of the movants by the petitioners-government agencies;

10. On December 18, 2008, the Honorable Court in the instant case rendered a decision directing the petitioners government agencies to clean up, rehabilitate, and preserve Manila Bay, and restore and maintain its waters to SB level (Class B sea waters per Water Classification Tables under DENR Administrative Order No. 34 [1990]) to make them fit for swimming, skin-diving, and other forms of contact recreation;

11. Supposedly pursuant to the above-stated decision, the DENR, in February caused the destruction of the mussels, fish cages and fish traps of the movants. Ostensibly, however, the decision of the Honorable Court was merely used as cloak to justify the intention of the DENR to get rid of the structures established and used by the movants to grow mussels and to catch fishes in Manila Bay in order to give way to the construction of R-1 Expressway Extension Project of the Philippine Reclamation Authority. Thus, on the guise of implementing the decision of the Honorable Court for the clean up, protection and rehabilitation of Manila Bay, the DENR has dismantled the structures used by the movants for growing mussels and for catching fishes in the Manila Bay. But it could not be denied that their real intent is to get rid these structures to allow the unhampered construction of R-1 Expressway Extension Project and reclamation of the portion of the Manila Bay without risk of civil, criminal and/or administrative suits and without compensating anything to the movants.

12. Let it be noted that the 7-kilometer R-1 Expressway Extension Project will involve the reclamation of 7,500 hectares of submerged public lands and mangrove areas in Manila. The project which is approximately 40 percent completed will further destroy the remaining coral and mangrove areas in the Cavite portion of Manila Bay and will remove 26,000 fisherfolk and urban poor families, including herein movants from their main source of livelihood and abode;

13. It must be said then, that the misplaced interpretation and interpretation of the decision of the Honorable Court by the DENR will defeat the significance and usefulness of the decision. The DENR has led its sight to the small fishermen, which includes herein movants, while turning a blind eye to the destructive effect of the construction of the reclamation projects in Manila Bay;

14. As it was already the case and because the clean up, protection and rehabilitation of Manila Bay is a continuing act, movants will be adversely affected by the acts of the petitioners. They are mistakenly being targeted as the source of the pollution that beset the Manila Bay for which reason petitioners are supposedly justified to dismantle their houses, fish pens or fish traps and the other structures used to grow mussels therein. On the otherhand, the petitioner-government agencies, especially the DENR, has not lifted any finger to stop, or even just to investigate the harmful effects of the reclamation activities undertaken in the Manila Bay.

15. As such, movants have the right to intervene as their rights have already been trampled upon, violated and adversely affected by the erroneous interpretation and implementation of the Honorable Court’s decision by the petitioner-agencies while they ignore the plea to study the effects of the on-going reclamation projects in the Manila Bay;
16. As they were directly affected and in fact are the actual victims of the erroneous interpretation and application of the respondents of the Honorable Court’s decision adverted to above, they have likewise the right to intervene to seek protection from the Honorable Court of their rights and interest. In the minimum, they expect clarification from the Honorable Court on the application of the decision to their right to life, property and livelihood.

17. As there is already an on–going construction of R-1 Expressway Extension Project, which directly affects their livelihood and will destroy the further destroy the remaining coral and mangrove areas in the Cavite portion of Manila Bay, movants who are directly affected thereof has also the right to bring to the attention of the Honorable Court that the reclamation of the Manila Bay is the first and foremost reason of the effluence and destruction of Marine Life thereof and not the fishing activities of the small fishermen thereon;

18. The task of this Intervention, therefore, is to enable movants to articulate their position on the noble purpose of cleaning, protecting and rehabilitating the Manila Bay; to seek clarification and protection from the Honorable Court on the scope of the decision to the small fishermen of the Manila Bay; to bring to the attention of the Honorable Court the misplaced interpretation and implementation of the decision by the government agencies; and the neglect to include the reclamation activities in the Manila Bay as the first and foremost reason for its destruction.

19. Considering the foregoing, and the imperative need to bring to the attention of the Honorable Court the above-matters, which are matters of fundamental importance in the clean up, rehabilitation and protection of Manila Bay, movants most respectfully beg leave of the Honorable Court to allow them to intervene in these proceedings;

20. Movants is not unaware that Intervention, as provided under Rule 19 of the Rules of Civil Procedure should be filed at any time before rendition of judgment. But they submit that the rules is applicable only when the case is pending before the trial court but not before the Honorable Court that has the all-encompassing power to relax the rules and set aside technicalities all in the interest of justice and due process. More importantly, movants submit that the case has not yet been concluded with finality as the orders it has issued to the government agencies concerned were not yet followed and implemented. As was already stated above, the clean up, rehabilitation and protection of Manila Bay is a continuing process and would take a long period of time to be materialized. As such, legally and technically, this case did not end with the promulgation of the decision.

PRAYER

WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, it is most respectfully prayed that the movants be allowed to intervene in these proceedings and that the memorandum hereto attached be admitted and considered.

OTHER RELIEF, just and equitable under the premises, is likewise prayed for.

February 23, 2009, Quezon City for Manila.

JOBERT I. PAHILGA
Counsel for the Intervenors
PTR No. 0631912/03-06-2008/Navotas
IBP No. 748133/03-17-2008/Antique
MCLE Compliance No. II-0012413/09-08-2008
Roll No. 48289

SENTRO PARA SA TUNAY NA REPORMANG AGRARYO (SENTRA)
161-B Chico St., Project 2, Quezon City

Copy furnished:

OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR-GENERAL
134 Amorosolo St., Legaspi Village
Makati City

ATTY. ANTONIO OPOSA
Counsel for the Respondents
6-J Westgate Tower, Investment Drive
1780 Alabang, Muntinlupa City
Republic of the Philippines )
Quezon City ) s.s.

VERIFICATION/CERTIFICATION

WE, FERNANDO HICAP, CHERRY CLEMENTE, MICHELLE GAYO, JIMBOY FRANCISCO, LUZAINE MILABO, ROGELIO CANTON, RENATO PRIETO, EDITO FERNANDEZ, EVELYN MARANA, SUSAN PAEZ, JESUS BAQUIN, DONATO VILLAFUERTE, ERLINDA QUILAPIO, ILUMINADA CABORNAY, CHARITO FRANCISCO, EDITO FERNANDEZ, GONDILINDA FERNANDEZ, REYNALDO SALAC, NENITA LAGARAN, SARAH CARNAJE and RODOLFO TORRES, all of legal age, Filipino, after having been duly sworn to in accordance with law, hereby depose and state that:

1. We are the intervenors in this case;

2. We have caused the preparation of this motion; have read and understood the contents thereof; and that the same are true and correct of my personal knowledge and based on authentic records.

3. We further certify that we have not commenced any other action or proceedings involving the same case in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or in any other tribunal or agency; and that to the best of our knowledge, no such action or proceeding is pending therein except the instant case. Furthermore, should we thereafter learn that a similar action or proceeding has been filed or is pending, we undertake to report such fact within five (5) days therefrom to the court or agency in which the original pleading and sworn certification have been filed.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, we have set our hands this 23rd day of February 2009 at Quezon City, Metro Manila.

FERNANDO HICAP PEDRO GONZALES
TIN/ID No._______________ TIN/ID No. _________________

CHERRY CLEMENTE JIMBOY FRANCISCO
TIN/ID No._______________ TIN/ID No. _________________

LUZAINE MILABO ROGELIO CANTON
TIN/ID No._______________ TIN/ID No. _________________

RENATO PRIETO EDITO FERNANDEZ
TIN/ID No._______________ TIN/ID No. _________________

EVELYN MARANA SUSAN PAEZ
TIN/ID No._______________ TIN/ID No. _________________

JESUS BAQUIN DONATO VILLAFUERTE
TIN/ID No._______________ TIN/ID No. _________________

ERLINDA QUILAPIO ILUMINADA CABORNAY
TIN/ID No._______________ TIN/ID No. _________________

CHARITO FRANCISCO EDITO FERNANDEZ
TIN/ID No._______________ TIN/ID No. _________________

GONDILINDA FERNANDEZ REYNALDO SALAC
TIN/ID No._______________ TIN/ID No. _________________

NENITA LAGARAN SARAH CARNAJE
TIN/ID No._______________ TIN/ID No. _________________

RODOLFO TORRES MICHELLE GAYO
TIN/ID No. ______________ TIN/ID No.

SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this 23rd day of February 2009, affiants personally known to me and exhibited their Taxpayer’s Identification No./Identification No. indicated below their names and signature.

Doc. No. ____;
Page No. ____; NOTARY PUBLIC
Book No. ____;
Series of 2009
AFFIDAVIT OF SERVICE

I, ATTY. JOBERT I. PAHILGA, of legal age, Filipino, married and with office address at Sentro para sa Tunay na Repormnag Agraryo (SENTRA) after having been duly sworn to in accordance with law hereby depose and state that:

1. On February 23, 2009, I have cause the service of the foregoing motion to the above-named counsel for the respondent by registered mail with return card by depositing the same at the Quezon City Post Office with the following particulars:

OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR GENERAL
134 Amorosolo St., Legaspi Village
Makati City
Registry Receipt No. _____________

ATTY. ANTONIO OPOSA
6-J Westgate Tower, Investment Drive
1780 Alabang, Muntinlupa City

SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this 23rd day of February 2009, affiants personally known to me and exhibited their Taxpayer’s Identification No./Identification No. indicated below their names and signature.

Doc. No. ____;
Page No. ____; NOTARY PUBLIC
Book No. ____;
Series of 2009

Leave a comment

Filed under environment

Passage of RP baselines bill will revive China’s offshore mining stint in Spratlys, says fishers group

Passage of RP baselines bill will revive China’s offshore mining stint in Spratlys, says fishers group

The newly passed RP baselines bill will signal the revival of the stalled Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) in Spratly Islands with the Chinese government dictating all the aspects and phases of the ambitious offshore mining project in the Kalayaan group of islands, according to the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya).

“The passage of RP baselines bill is an enabling law to allow the regime of offshore mining giants headed by China to explore the bodies of waters connected by the regime of islands in the Spratlys,” Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said in a press statement.

On March 10, 2008, Pamalakaya filed a diplomatic protest before the Chinese Consular office in Makati City, urging the Chinese government to refrain from pushing the $ 8-billion offshore mining venture it clinched with the Philippine and Vietnamese governments.

“The new RP baselines bill will pave the way for the re-entry China National Oil Corporation in the Spratly Islands, including portions of Palawan waters to acquire the right to mine the 3.3 trillion cubic meters of gas in Palawan and Spratly group of islands,” the Pamalakaya leader said.
Hicap said after the offshore mining exploration and the successful of tapping of gas and oil reserves, gas pipelines would be set up from Palawan to China, which he said will be the next big thing to happen under JMUS since the transfer of gas can only be done through the construction of gas pipelines like in the case of the Malampaya gas pipeline project.
“That’s the next logical chapter of this highly detestable partnership between the Arroyo government and China courtesy of the RP baselines bill and the predictable revival of JMSU. China will put up its pipelines to complete the loot, and the Malacañang will just beg for alms in the form of taxes and other duties, the Pamalakaya leader added.

Pamalakaya said the RP baselines bill is a complete sellout because it will facilitate the revival of China’s offshore mining interest in Spratlys, and in the next three years, China will establish gas pipelines that would supply the energy sector of China, Malaysia and Singapore and that it would merely engaged in lease contract with the Philippine government for the use of 142,886 square kilometers encompassing Palawan and certain parts of the Spratly Islands being claimed by the Philippines over the last four decades.
The militant group recalled that last year of the interception of Chinese oil exploration vessel Nan Hai which was docked at Puerto Princesa City port to refuel after coming from a seismic operation in Southwest Palawan. Pamalakaya said that aside from seismic operation, it was also convinced that part of the operation is a study on where to put or start the setting up of China’s gas pipelines in Palawan.
“The Chinese oil exploration vessel Nam Hai 502 was in Palawan last year not only to conduct seismic operation because it is already confirmed that trillions of cubic meters of natural gas are found in the waters of Palawan and the Kalayaan group of Islands. The best kept secret there is that the Chinese oil explorers are seemingly engaged in mapping operations regarding the setting up of gas pipelines,” Pamalakaya said.
“We were not born yesterday not to understand this geographical escapade of Chinese oil exploration. Once they explore, all aspects are considered from identification of gas deposits to how these deposits would be taken off and transferred to the home base of the oil exploration giant and their big-time clients in neighbor countries,” the group added.
Pamalakaya said that although Antonio Calilao, president of the state-owned Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) has admitted that the entire 142,886 square kilometer area covered by the controversial Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) among the Philippines, China and Vietnam are all within Philippine territory, he did not touch on the prospects of constructing gas pipelines for fear of making JMSU more controversial and more disparaging in the eyes of the outraged public.
Calilao said JMSU as a purely commercial agreement has a precedent citing the joint Australian-Philippine cooperation, the joint Norwegian-Philippine cooperation, stressing that involvement of other nationalities in such undertaking is a very common practice here.
In a related development, Pamalakaya revealed that the Arroyo government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline (TAGP) with Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam that would allow the construction of an ambitious gas pipeline from Palawan to East Natuna, Sabah, Malaysia.
Pamalakaya said the gas pipeline project that would link the Philippines through Palawan and Malaysia through East Natuna in Sabah, Malaysia was the product of the MoU on the ASEAN wide gas pipeline project.
The militant group said the Palawan-Malaysia gas pipeline project will go as far as 1,540 kilometers, with the gas pipeline measuring 42 inches in diameter. The cost of the gas line project between the Philippines and Malaysia would amount to $ 3.036 B. The project would start this year and would be completed in 2015.
Pamalakaya said other pipelines to be constructed are the Malaysia-Thailand gas pipeline, the Indonesia-Singapore gas pipeline and the Myanmar-Thailand gas pipeline. Hicap said Singapore is also eying its own gas pipeline that would connect the Philippines through the Camago in Palawan.
“Nothing has been said about this ambitious gas pipeline project. It remains a national confidential project on the part of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The people were kept uninformed and Congress has not been advised that such monumental project exists that has serious implications to the nation’s sovereignty and patrimony,” Pamalakaya said.
The group added:” If there’s nothing wrong about this project, why would President Arroyo keep this project like a big, big secret? We smell something fishy here, as fishy as JMSU.”
According to the eight-page MoU document obtained by Pamalakaya, the agreement was signed on July 5, 2002 in Bali, Indonesia by Abdul Rahman Taib, Brunei’s Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Suy Sem, Cambodian Minister for Industry, Mines and Energy, Purnomo Yusgiantoro, Indonesian Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy, Nam Viyaketh, Laos’ Deputy Minister of Industry and Handicraft, Leo Moggie, Malaysian Minister of Energy, Communications and Multimedia, Brig. General Lun Thi, Myanmar Minister of Energy, Raymond Lim Siang Keat, Singapore Minister of Foreign Affairs, Phongthep Thepkanjana, Minister to the Prime Minister office of Thailand, Dang Vu Chu, Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and former Department of Energy secretary Vincent Perez Jr. for the Philippine government.
The MOU states, “Realizing that energy self-sufficiency can be achieved through national and multinational efforts geared towards indigenous energy resource exploration, development, exploitation, distribution and transportation, and undertaken in a manner that both conserves the resources a nd preserves the environment and human habitat.”
The MOU, which is consistent with the vision of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries to promote energy cooperation in the region, was first tackled on June 24, 1986 in Manila when members of ASEAN forged an agreement on energy cooperation, followed by the ASEAN Energy Cooperation in Bangkok on Dec. 15, 1995.
The TAGP is a specific energy program approved in Hanoi, Vietnam and was endorsed by ASEAN heads of state December 16, 1998. On July 3, 1999, the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation from 1999-2004 was approved, and it entrusted the responsibility of implementing the TAGP to the ASEAN council on Petroleum (ASCOPE). In 2002, the final MOU on gas pipeline projects across ASEAN was signed by its member states.
The objective of the gas pipeline project is to provide a broad framework for ASEAN member countries to cooperate towards the realization of the TAGP project to help ensure greater regional energy security.
The MOU for gas pipeline projects task all member countries to establish cooperation in various aspects such as individual and joint studies, and to support or encourage the production, utilization, distribution, marketing and sale of natural gas among ASEAN member nations.
Pamalakaya said ASEAN nations have virtually opened the floodgates for economic plunder by big gas and oil monopolies when it announced that funding would be secured from the private sector that has the means and technology to explore and extract the rich gas resources still abundant in Southeast Asian region.
“It is a sell out. In fact, this corporate prey was probably used by the Philippine government to sign the JMSU and sold its stake in the disputed Spratly Islands, including its own territory like Palawan, which is incidentally the object of the Palawan-Malaysia gas pipeline project,” the militant group said.
The agreement also recognizes the role to be played by the private sector in developing gas pipelines, including its financing and construction, and the supply, transportation and distribution of natural gas to member countries. The TAGP promotes the open access principle including management of pipelines according to internationally accepted rules as set by established oil and gas industries all over the world.
The MoU on TAGP also encourage exemption of export and import tax duties, lower or free transit fee, tax duties or other taxes imposed by the government, including charges on construction, operation and maintenance of pipelines as well as the natural gas in transit. #

Leave a comment

Filed under foreign relations, neoliberalization, Offshore mining

Fishers dumped 10 sacks of mussel shells in DENR to protest demolition

Fishers dumped 10 sacks of mussel shells in DENR to protest demolition

Fisherfolk and mussel growers in Bacoor, Cavite, whose small mussel aquaculture pens were demolished by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) staged a “mussel flexing” protest at the office of Secretary Joselito Atienza and demanded an immediate halt on future demolition of their pens along Manila Bay.

Sixty (60) fisherfolk and mussel growers identified with the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), its regional affiliate Pamalakaya-Southern Tagalog and the Samahang Magdaragat ng Bacoor, Cavite dumped 10 sacks of empty mussel shells at the gate of the DENR national office in Visayas Avenue, Quezon City to warn Atienza of forthcoming social volcano.

Pamalakaya-Southern Tagalog secretary general Pedro Gonzalez called Sec. Atienza, the Butcher of Manila Bay for destroying the livelihood of small fishermen and mussel growers in Manila Bay. He said more than 50 percent of all small fish traps and mussel pens in Bacoor and adjacent coastal towns were already “cleaned up” of small fish trap and mussel pens.

“The Supreme Court ruling on Manila Bay rehabilitation put to task Atienza to clean up the bay of solid wastes and treat water wastes dumped into the bay. The high court decision does not give him the license to destroy the people’s livelihood. He is cannibalizing and prostituting the high tribunal ruling on Manila Bay,” Gonzalez added.

For his part, Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap revealed that Sec. Atienza and other government agencies like the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA), the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and other government agencies will be named respondents to the group’s plan to question all the government development projects, reclamation and demolition activities in Manila Bay.

The Pamalakaya leader said on Monday, Pamalakaya and around 3,000 small fisherfolk and mussel growers in Bacoor, Cavite will march from Bacoor to the Supreme Court in Manila to file the petition seeking for declaratory relief and clarificatory action on Manila Bay clean up.
“We want to know if under the SC ruling, DENR government agencies are allowed to kill the livelihood of the people and send them away from their coastal villages. At the same time, we want to know if the Supreme Court decision allows destructive and anti-environment projects like reclamation and road expansion to proceed at the expense of people’s rights to livelihood and abode,” added Hicap.

Pamalakaya theorized that Atienza was actively engaged in demolition of fish traps and small mussel aquaculture pens in Manila Bay to fast-rack the reclamation of 7,500 hectares of submerged public lands along the bay and pave way for the completion of the 11-kilometer R-1 Expressway Extension Project.

Pamalakaya and SMBC asserted that the R-1 expressway extension project will displace 26,000 fisherfolk families and urban poor residents in the coastal towns of Bacoor, Kawit, Binakayan, Noveleta and Cavite City. Last year, around 1,000 fishing and urban poor families were demolished and relocated to Tanza. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) promised to give P 15,000 to each family whose houses were demolished.

Pamalakaya blamed the ambitious Sangley dream of former Senator and PRA chair Ramon Revilla Sr. as the main culprit behind the looming demolition of fisherfolk communities in many coastal towns of the province.

The group recalled that on June 21, 2007, President Arroyo signed Executive Order No. 629 directing the PRA to develop Sangley Point in Cavite City into a logistical hub with modern seaport and an airport, citing the R-1 expressway extension project as enabling component. The Pamalakaya leader said the Sangley Point project was Mrs. Arroyo’s birthday gift to Revilla.

“The R-1 extension project which is directly link to old Revilla’s Sangley escapade is an exchange deal between the Arroyos and the old Revilla. They don’t mind about their collaborations killing impact to the livelihood of the fisherfolk and Manila Bay’s fragile environment,” said Pamalakaya

The group said the R-1 extension project resulted to diminished fish catch and destruction of remaining corals and mangroves in Bacoor Bay. The same Cavite road project is also being blamed for the flooding in Bacoor and nearby coastal towns in the province. #

Leave a comment

Filed under environment

Bicol fishers agree to VFA abrogation, call for indefinite suspension of Balikatan exercises in the region

Bicol fishers agree to VFA abrogation, call for indefinite suspension of Balikatan exercises in the region

The Lakas ng Mga Maliliit na Mangingisda ng Bicol (Lambat-Bicol) a regional alliance of small fisherfolk organizations today welcomed the proposal of Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Joker Arroyo to abrogate the 10-year old Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) saying it is about time for the Manila government to say no to Washington’s political-military arrogance, intervention and aggression to the country.

“The Manila government should welcome the proposal of Senators Arroyo and Santiago on the scrapping of the military agreement in the national of national interest. The refusal of the US government to yield custody of US Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith is a lucid testimony that Washington D.C will not honor the sovereign rights of the Filipino people as a nation,” said Salvador France, Lambat-Bicol chairperson.

France, also the vice-chair of the left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) said lawmakers should push through with the abrogation of VFA even if the US decided to yield the custody of the convicted US rapist to the government.

“There should be no exchange deal here. The abrogation of VFA must be of paramount importance to the Filipino people, and attached to this matter is the taking of custody of Smith away from US authority since the crime is done in the Philippine soil,” the Bicolano fisherfolk leader added.

For his part, Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap dared Senators Arroyo and Santiago to immediately call for the indefinite suspension of the scheduled Balikatan exercises in the Bicol region, while the abrogation of the VFA and the fight of the custody of Cpl. Smith are still being decided by the decision makers in the government.

“It is lawful, objective and morally upright for the Macapagal-Arroyo government to immediately and indefinitely suspend the holding of RP-US joint military exercises in Bicol and other parts of the country, while these issues are stake and being resolved by different branches of the government and the national public,” said Hicap.

The Pamalakaya leader said the indefinite suspension that he wanted to end to scrapping of the VFA should also lead the country’s lawmakers in both Houses of Congress to investigate what it called “alleged an illegal and puzzling” census conducted by US troops and personnel in Sorsogon and other provinces of the Bicol region ahead of the RP-US joint military exercises.

“That census is illegal and unconstitutional. Seeing in on a larger political context, the census conducted by American servicemen in Bicol is Washington’s political-military intervention to the highest order. Nobody gives the US military servicemen and personnel the legal, moral and political right to conduct survey on our people. That is not really a survey activity, but surveillance of foreign state on a nation state and this is again a material evidence to argue for the abrogation of the treaty,” added Hicap.

Pamalakaya said the committees on foreign relations and national defense of both the Senate and the House of Representatives should conduct a separate or joint congressional inquiry into what he called an invasion of public life in the name of US war on terror.

“The Bicol wide Balikatan escapade is a direct attack to the national sovereign rights of the Filipino people. The Senate and the House of Representatives through their respective committees should conduct an all-out congressional probe on this matter,” the group said.

Earlier, Pamalakaya and Lambat-Bicol reported that a number of US troops and personnel were frequently seen in Barangay Liyang, Irosin town in Sorsogon province conducting preliminary survey and surveillance ahead of the Balikatan exercises scheduled to begin in April this year.

In the same report, small fishermen started seeing US personnel conducting “census” in Barangay Mayngaran in Masbate City, Barangay Bagacay, Marintuk, Lalaguna and Balatukan in Mobo town, barangays Marcilla, Dapdap, Panisihan, Buenvista, Armenia, Sawang, Buenasuerte and Magsaysay in Uson town, and in the municipality of Cataingan proper all in Masbate.

Pamalakaya and Lambat-Bicol also noted the early presence of US troops in Oas town, Albay, particularly in the farming villages of San Pascual, San Miguel and Talisay, where the 5th engineering battalion of the Philippine Army is currently detailed.

But Col. Rodolfo Santiago, the military’s Executive Agent for the Balikatan Exercises confirmed the census being conducted by US troops in Sorsogon, adding it was necessary to identify potential beneficiaries of the Balikatan projects like civil works, medical and dental missions and rehabilitation and construction of facilities. The military in Bicol said the humanitarian, relief and construction activities of US troops engaged in Balikatan will benefit around 11,000 Bicolanos.

Santiago said the US soldiers who will be sent to Bicol region are non-combatants and composed only of doctors, veterinarians and construction workers. The Balikatan executive agent added that the actual RP-US joint military exercises will be held in Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija, and Crow Valley Range and Clark Air Field in Pampanga.

Leave a comment

Filed under foreign relations