Tag Archives: Hermogenes Ebdane

Cavite gov, 3 government execs violate SC ruling on Manila Bay, fishers group assert

Cavite gov, 3 government execs violate SC ruling on Manila Bay, fishers group assert

The left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Wednesday said Cavite Governor Ayong Maliksi, along with environment and natural resources secretary Joselito Atienza, former Senator Ramon Revilla Sr., chair of the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) and public works and highway secretary Hermogenes Ebdane violated the Supreme Court ruling on Manila Bay.

Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said the controversial R-1 Expressway Extension Project being pushed by the national government in cooperation with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the PRA and the Cavite provincial government is contrary to high court ruling thrust to bring the bay back to its pristine state and historical glory.

“The 11-kilometer expressway project is a road to perdition and a highway to destruction. But for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and these officials, the R-1 undertaking is a multi-billion peso finance campaign. And to effectively carry out this P 8-billion fund sourcing, they are exploiting and prostituting the SC ruling on Manila Bay against the opposition,” added Hicap.

The Pamalakaya leader said the SC decision mandates the national government and concerned government officials and agencies to restore Manila Bay to its clean and productive state. Hicap said the ruling does not mention anything about the right of the state to evict poor fisherfolk and urban poor families from their main source of livelihood and communities.

“We have read and studied the SC decision on Manila Bay. The high tribunal is mandating the government to clean up the bay of wastes, not to clean this fishing ground of fisher people. The fisherfolk are part of the Manila Bay’s ecological life and survival,” Hicap added.

The Pamalakaya leader said a fisherfolk legal forum billed “Manila Bay By Day, Manila Bay By Night” will be staged on February 16 at the Ibon Center in Quezon City to fully understand the legal implications and relations of the December 2008 Supreme Court ruling on issues confronting Manila Bay fishermen, and how fisherfolk and the bay residents could effectively use the high tribunal decision as a legal remedy against the all-out destruction of their small-livelihood and demolition of fishing villagers along Manila Bay.

Hicap said Atty. Jobert Pahilga, executive trustee of Sentra Para Sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo (Sentra) and campaign advocacy officer of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) will lead the legal education among members of Pamalakaya in Manila Bay.

Hicap added in that forum, his group hopes that they identify the legal actions to be taken against Gov. Maliksi, secretaries Atienza and Ebdane and Revilla Sr. of PRA.

Pamalakaya accused President Arroyo, Gov. Maliksi, Atienza, Ebdane and Revilla Sr. of destroying the remaining corals and mangroves of Manila Bay by pushing the R-1 Expressway Extension Project by allowing the reclamation of 7,500 hectares of the submerged public properties along the bay to give way to road construction.

“Reclamation will hasten the death of Manila Bay which is currently under the Intensive Care Unit and in full environmental comatose. That undertaking by design and by orientation, and by law is against the SC decision on Manila Bay,” the militant group said.

Yesterday, some 50 protesters who staged a camp-out inside the R-1 reclamation were dispersed by a composite team of 300 police and security marshals deployed by the Bacoor PNP, Cavite City PNP and Tagaytay PNP. Though no one was arrested, scores of fisherfolk and residents belonging to Samahang Magdaragat ng Bacoor, Cavite, an affiliate of Pamalakaya were hurt during the dispersal.

Pamalakaya said 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.

The militant 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.

Pamalakaya 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. #

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Japanese contractor asked to testify on WB funded projects

Japanese contractor linking First Gentleman, former senator
to WB rigged projects asked to testify

“Please testify.”

This was the appeal of the left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) to a Japanese contractor named in the World Bank report linking First Gentleman Atty. Mike Arroyo in the alleged collusion and rigging in the bank’s funded road projects in the Philippines.

“The truth shall prevail over and above business and personal interests. In the name of national interest, we appeal to the Japanese contractor to come out in the open and bare all about this endless game of collusion, contract rigging and first-rate crime of corruption,” Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said in a press statement.

“We are after the truth. This is not only about business interests and business ethics here. The people’s hard-earned taxes are involved here; therefore the 90 million Filipinos have the legal, moral and political rights to demand what exactly transpired,” added Hicap.

The Pamalakaya leader also asked the Japanese contractor to name the former senator he mentioned to World Bank probers who recently found out that three Filipino contractors and four Chinese companies had colluded to rig the bidding for a $ 33-milion WB-funded road project in the country.

“What is so special about this former Senator? Why he was in the picture? What’s his role in this 33-million US dollar contract rigging and corruption? The Filipino public deserves the real score and not the reel score,” added Hicap.

The World Bank report said the Japanese contractor got an impression the money was important in doing business in the country during his meeting with Atty. Arroyo and the ex-Senator. In another meeting with the former Senator, it had been made clear to him that there would be no business in the Philippines without paying money.

The contractor was told that the money would have to be paid as high up as the president, senior government officials and politicians in order to do any further business in the country.

Pamalakaya likewise asked the local contractor interviewed by the World Bank to shed lights on the $ 33-million rigged WB road project in the Philippines. The local contractor identified the presidential husband as behind Eduardo de Luna, owner and proprietor of E.C de Luna Construction Corp., one of the firms blacklisted by the World Bank.

The local contractor said de Luna acts as the intermediary between contractors and politicians for the bid fixing. Another foreign contractor interviewed by the World Bank said he was told to form a relationship with de Luna if he is to bag any project, and he was told that de Luna has connections with the First Gentleman.

The E.C de Luna construction group was permanently banned by World Bank, while two other Filipino construction firms—Cavite Ideal International Construction and Development Corp. and CM Pancho Construction were barred for four years.

The four banned Chinese firms were China Road and Bridge (banned for 8 years), China State Construction (banned for 6 years), China Wu Yi Co. (banned for 6 years) and China Geo-Engineering (banned for five years).

On top of the group’s appeal for World Bank witnesses to come out in the open, Pamalakaya said the WB expose on contract collusion and rigging should merit the expulsion of Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane as chief of the department.

“Secretary Ebdane should resign and shall be continuously grilled by any investigating bodies looking into the alleged involvement of government and private entities close to the ruling political gangland in Malacañang,” said Pamalakaya.

The militant group said if Ebdane has still some political delicadeza as a political animal and a human being, he would quit his post and subject himself to investigation. #

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