Members of the Environment and Natural Resources Advocates for Gloria’s Expulsion (ENRAGED), an alliance of alliance of environmentalists, scientists, and indigenous people will party for the ninth—and hopefully—the last State of the Nation’s Address (SONA) of the chief executive today.
Complete with a cake with the small figurine of Mrs. Arroyo holding a big luggage full of money, allegedly plundered from the country’s chest, ENRAGED members are wishing that Mrs. Arroyo’s relinquishing of power may come very soon.
“As she’s (Mrs. Arroyo) desperate to remain in power, we environmentalists are also very eager to see her step down and leave Malacañang. We’re having this party to remind Mrs. Arroyo and her minions in Congress and elsewhere, that the Filipino people do not what them to stay any longer in office and further harm the nation,” says Clemente “Enteng” Bautista Jr., one of the conveners of ENRAGED and concurrently, the national coordinator of environmental activists’ group Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE).
Bautista said, under Arroyo’s regime, the government environmental protection has been a total failure, explaining that her policies in energy, forestry and fishery lead to further degradation.
The best examples of which, says Bautista, is the enactment of the Mining Act of 1995, the Biofuel Act of 2007 and the Japan Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA).
“She’s a champion of the environment… not in protecting it but selling it to foreign and private corporations to exploit and plunder,” Bautista stressed.
Based on the data garnered by ENRAGED, there are about 2.8 million hectares of forests and watersheds being massive mined and logged.
“Now, the government is targeting 2 million hectares of agricultural and marginal land for bio-fuel plantations,” revealed Bautista.
Moreover, the environmental activist said, under Mrs. Arroyo’s administration, indigenous people’s communities have suffered so much.
Says Atty. Rhia Muhi of Legal Rights and Natural Resource Center (LRC-KsK) and also a member of ENRAGED, the indigenous peoples’ struggle for self-determination and rights to their ancestral domain was undermined and violated upon the implementation of Mrs. Arroyo’s mining revitalization program, hundreds of thousands of hectares of land of indigenous people were given to transnational mining corporations.
“We want to make her accountable to the crimes that she did to the environment and our people,” the lawyer said.
Meanwhile, Bautista and his colleagues forewarn Mrs. Arroyo and her cohorts: studies are already going, as preparation for a criminal case or criminal cases against the Chief Executive, after she left Malacañang by June 30, 2010 to make her accountable for her alleged sins against the Filipino people.
“Like what the people did in prosecuting former President Joseph Estrada on plunder case, President Gloria deserves to get prison terms for her environmental, as well as her other political and social crimes,” Bautista stressed.
“For now, we are doing everything that we can to register that it is unacceptable for Gloria Arroyo to further stay in power. We will definitely join actions, like the July 27 people’s rally to demonstrate that are one with the people in registering their opposition to Gloria’s Charter Change and for their clamor for better governance and leaders,” Bautista said as a repartee. (Dateline Philippines)
See also a story about this at CBCPNews.com.