Indigenous peoples score DMCI on World Environment Day

KATRIBU News Release

5 June 2015

MAKATI—Indigenous peoples from KATRIBU Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong
Mamamayan ng Pilipinas along with environment activists conducted a
protest action at the office of D.M. Consunji, Inc (DMCI) on Friday,
June 5, on the commemoration of the World Environment Day. KATRIBU
scored the construction corporation over issues of environmental
destruction and human rights violations.

“Not only has DMCI have an abysmal environmental record, it also
infringes on human rights by its use of a private army to eliminate its
critics on the ground,” Piya Macliing Malayao, KATRIBU spokesperson said.

Recently, John Calaba, a 28-year-old Manobo activist and public
information officer of local indigenous peoples’ organization KIDUMA
(Kisasabanay sa Dulangan Manobo) went missing in his hometown of Sitio
Salabantran, Brgy. Sabanal, Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat. Calaba was last
seen on April 30, at around 9:00 AM in the company of DMCI guards.
Gunshots were heard around the DMCI area around 10:00 AM, witnesses say.
A vehicle was seen exiting the area afterwards, which left a trail of
blood. Calaba remains missing, and is feared dead by locals and human
rights organizations.

“We hold the DMCI guards and the Special Civilian Armed Auxiliary (SCAA)
for his disappearance. We demand his immediate surfacing,” Malayao said.

Calaba was a known leader vocal in criticizing the environmental effects
and land-grabbing of DMCI in the area and is seen as reason for his
disappearance and possible extrajudicial killing.

According to KATRIBU, DMCI have driven away the Dulangan Manobo from
their ancestral lands. Their farms planted with native and various crops
were cleared out and then bulldozed. They have also been prevented from
tilling their own lands, and are being harassed by company guards and
are being compelled to pay for the company’s safe conduct pass.

Malayao also blasted DMCI’s use of a “legitimized private army” to
threaten and harass the Manobo people.

According to Malayao, the Aquino government continued the formation of
the Investment Defense Force (IDF), unveiled in 2008 by former President
Arroyo to protect mining and energy investments. The IDF is a
cooperation of private security groups and the Armed Forces of the
Philippines with the charge of securing businesses.

“The creation and continuance of the Investment Defense Force is a
direct attack against the people and an affront to human rights in
general. Imagine goons, armed with the best weapons mining corporations
and plantation owners could buy, trained by the Armed Forces of the
Philippines, and legitimized by the President, are going after
indigenous people and ordinary citizens who are critical of projects and
businesses. It is an abomination to democracy that corporations have an
army under their thumb,” Malayao said.

DMCI guards in its operations in Sultan Kudarat are said to have been
trained by the 38th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.

“Paramilitary groups and other mercenaries on payroll by big businesses
are terrorizing Lumad villages all over Mindanao. In his policy for
retaining paramilitary groups and the Investment Defense Force, BS
Aquino is responsible for perpetuating the reigning culture of
impunity,” Malayao added.

KATRIBU is pushing for the revocation of Executive Order 546, that
legitimizes the creation of collaborative defense force between the
government and private security forces.#

References: Piya Macliing Malayao, 0917-3631576 Spokesperson; Lea
Fullon, 0998-2972500, Public Information Officer


Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KATRIBU)
National Alliance of Indigenous Peoples Organizations in the Philippines
Room 304 NCCP Building, 876 Epifanio De Los Santos Avenue, West
Triangle, Quezon City, Philippines
(02)412-5340 | kamp_phils@yahoo.com | katutubongmamamayan.org

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On World Environment Day: Environmentalists protest DMCI’s Palawan
coal-fired power plant, other ecological crimes

Kalikasan PNE Press Release

5 June 2015

MAKATI CITY, Metro Manila—Today on World Environment Day, environmental
activists under the Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment
(Kalikasan PNE) held a picket protest outside the office of DMCI
Holdings denouncing its various environmental crimes and human rights
violations in several biodiversity areas in the Philippines. The latest
case is the railroading of the pollutive 15-megawatt (MW) coal-fired
power plant in Narra Town, Palawan Province.

“The Filipino people must demonstrate on World Environment Day our
commitment to protect our natural heritage and ecology by opposing
DMCI’s coal-fired power plant in the globally-renowned ecological
treasure that is the province of Palawan,” said Leon Dulce, campaign
coordinator of Kalikasan PNE.

Kalikasan PNE noted that DMCI has an extensive track record of
anti-people and anti-environment projects.

“DMCI’s group of companies has been extensively logging in almost
100,000 hectares of forest areas in Mindanao over the past three
decades. They have been irresponsibly mining Nickel in Zambales that has
already caused massive water pollution. DMCI’s coal-fired power plant in
Batangas is a continuing air polluter that is among the 13 power firms
to face legal action from the Energy Regulatory Commission for
manipulating power rates,” explained Dulce.

Recently, DMCI’s Special CAFGU Active Auxiliary (SCAA) units,
paramilitary guards pay rolled by the company’s logging firms in Sultan
Kudarat, were suspected in the enforced disappearance of indigenous
leader and environmental activist John Calaba. Calaba was an officer in
the Manobo group KIDUMA, which opposed DMCI’s logging and mining
projects in Sultan Kudarat.

“We must resist and not allow DMCI, which has a long record of
environmental crimes, and Palawan Governor Jose Alvarez, who was a big
commercial logger, to pollute and destroy the pristine environment of
Palawan,” Dulce said.

Alvarez is one of the staunch supporters of the Palawan coal power
project, and widely known as the one who denuded the forests in Northern
Palawan.

“The expensive and dirty coal project of DMCI and Gov. Alvarez has no
place in one of the world’s richest biodiversity corridors and hubs of
cost-competitive renewable energy,” Dulce added.

The green group noted that there are cleaner yet cheaper sources of
energy in the province. According to World Wildlife Fund-Philippines, a
proposed hydropower project would sell electricity at P6.59 per kwh, as
opposed to the DMCI coal power plant’s proposed P10.51 per kwh with
value-added tax included.

“There are cleaner and even more cost-effective alternatives to coal in
Palawan, especially if you factor environmental, health and social
costs. In fact, Palawan does not need additional power supply from
DMCI’s coal given that there is actually a surplus power supply of
16.7-MW in the province,” Dulce noted.

“We are calling for an independent investigation to look into the
outstanding risks and negative impacts to the people and the environment
by DMCI’s various operations. Government authorities must ensure that
companies such as DMCI with such an atrocious environmental and social
track record should not be allowed to handle environmentally critical
projects,” ended Dulce.

Reference: Leon Dulce – 0917 562 6824

Clemente Bautista, National Coordinator
Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment
26 Matulungin St. Central District, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, 1100
Tel: +63 (2) 924 8756 | E-mail: secretariat@kalikasan.net | Site:
www.kalikasan.net

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Palawan Deserves Renewable Energy. A Coal Plant is Out of Place in the
Country’s Last Ecological Frontier.

Palawan Alliance for Clean Energy (PACE) Press Statement

5 June 2015

As we celebrate World Environment Day today, June 5th, it is important
to highlight Palawan’s continuing fight against the pursuit of coal power.

Contrary to the pretenses of some of our local officials in Palawan,
coal is not the answer to the continuing power outages in the province.
There is no lack of contracted capacity of power because the existing
Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in Palawan has a contracted power
capacity of some 54MW. The current peak demand in Palawan is about
33-35MW which leaves an excess of 20MW for reserve and back up.

What exists is the failure of these IPPs to provide the guaranteed
dependable capacity based on their Power Supply Agreements (PSA) with
the Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO). Glaring is the fact that
DMCI, proponent of the coal-fired thermal power plant had 9 diesel
engines not functioning, and despite not being able to deliver a huge
portion of the guaranteed dependable capacity based on its contract with
PALECO, it has transferred some of its working units to stations in
Rizal, Quezon and Taytay which are outside of the original contract area.

Following civil society’s engagement with government agencies last year,
a masterplan for the energy development of Palawan was prepared and
finalized. Based on the Palawan Island Energy Masterplan (PIEMP), the
least cost option would be to utilize the renewable energy potential of
the province. Potential hydroelectric projects in Palawan have an
estimated capacity of 182.47 MW, which can provide energy of up to 959
GWh based on a 60% capacity factor. Integrating coal in the power mix
will not result to the least-cost mix of Palawan within the planning
period provided in the energy masterplan.

Since 2012 when PALECO entered into a power supply agreement with DMCI
which provided for the establishment of a coal-fired thermal power
plant, civil society groups and local communities have asserted to our
local officials and the Department of Energy (DOE) that a coal plant
represents a clear and present danger to the biosphere, the welfare of
our citizens and the image of Palawan as the center of biodiversity and
environmental conservation in the Philippines.

All we need to do is to look into the experiences of communities in Cebu
and Quezon as well as in India, China, USA and Germany to know the
adverse environmental, health and livelihood impacts of coal power
plants. The true cost of coal power embodies high unpaid health
liabilities which must ultimately be paid by our citizens and the
government. It shortens lives, reduces labor productivity and is the
major source of greenhouse gases leading to climate change.

Existing efforts in Palawan and in the national level to protect
Palawan’s biodiversity and enhance its tourism value will be threatened
by the environmental and health effects of coal power projects. Almost
the whole province of Palawan is included among the 78 tourism
development areas being implemented by the National Tourism Development
Plan.

The superficial cheapness of coal should not be the only consideration
for allowing a coal-fired power plant in Palawan because the risks it
brings far outweighs the benefits it can provide to an ecologically rich
and sensitive province.

We are disturbed by the efforts to politicize the processes and violate
our environmental governance laws in order to expedite the clearances
and approvals needed for the establishment of the coal-fired power plant.

We reiterate our call on every Palaweno to send letter-petitions
protesting the mockery of our laws and processes to key national
officials, the provincial governor, to all the government officials who
sit in the PCSD, to the barangay officials of San Isidro, Narra and the
municipal officials of Narra. We must continue the battle of the
residents of Panacan, Narra and San Juan, Aborlan who resisted this
dirty and harmful energy project, and ensure that a coal plant is not
built in San Isidro, Narra and anywhere in Palawan.

Andy Whitmore (Whit)
Indigenous Peoples Links (PIPLinks)
Coordinator
Finspace, 225-229 Seven Sisters Road, London, N4 2DA
Ph: +44 (0)775 439 5597
Email: comms@piplinks.org
Web: http://www.piplinks.org
Skype: mantissa88

“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the
intelligent are full of doubt.” – Bertrand Russell