Oppose the DOE’s promotion of ‘killer’ big dams and coal mines!

Kalikasan PNE press statement

18 September 2017

Protesting national minorities under the Sandugo alliance of Moro and
Indigenous Peoples stormed the gates of the Department of Energy (DOE)
today to protest the expanding encroachment of large hydropower, coal
mine, and other destructive energy projects into their ancestral lands.

We in the Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE)
join Sandugo in protesting the DOE for being a rubber-stamp agency for
big dams, coal mines, and other destructive energy projects in the
Philippines. Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, a former executive of big
energy corporation Aboitiz, cannot deny his ulterior motives in pushing
for more opportunities for his big business interests.

Where DOE pushes for more mega dams and coal mines, military and
paramilitary forces pour in to quell community resistance. Since 2001,
at least 11 cases of extrajudicial killings against energy activists
were perpetrated.

Many frontline environmental defenders, especially indigenous people,
are being harassed, threatened, and forcibly displaced by combat
operations and other forms of militarization.

In the region of Cordillera, the indigenous Igorot who oppose the
various dam and geothermal projects of Aboitiz are constantly harassed
by elements of the 54th Infantry Battalion, 81st Infantry Battalion, and
the 503rd Brigade of the Philippine Army. Their leaders, such as church
and development worker and Kankanaey-Igorota Sarah Abellon-Alikes, have
even been slapped with trumped-up charges.

Down in the hinterlands of SOCSKSARGEN, the indigenous Dulangan Manobo
are being subjected to the most atrocious human rights violations for
opposing the proposed coal mines and other destructive projects of DM
Consunji Inc. John Calaba, an officer of the Dulangan Manobo
organization Keduma, was ‘disappeared’ by the private paramilitary
groups of DMCI in 2015.

Various other energy projects across the provinces of Isabela, Zambales,
Tarlac, Rizal, Quezon, Panay, Surigao del Sur, and Bukidnon, among
others, are besieging the ancestral domains of indigenous people.

President Rodrigo Duterte, for all his tough talk against environmental
destruction, has been pushing for more and more mega dams, coal power
projects, and other destructive energy projects. The Laiban Dam project
in Rizal, long opposed by the indigenous Dumagat people, Duterte secured
a P10-billion financing from the Chinese government for the Laiban Dam
project much reviled by the Dumagat people of Rizal. Large dam projects
are a major component of Duterte’s neoliberal program ‘Build Build
Build’. The program which aims to spend trillion of pesos of public
money for big ticket infrastructure projects like hydro electric dams.

Environmental defenders will continue to resist these killer dams and
coal mines. We will not be cowed by Duterte’s military and paramilitary
attack dogs terrorizing our communities resisting these energy projects.
Duterte can expect scores of environmental defenders to join the massive
protest against extrajudicial killings, militarization, and human rights
violations under the Duterte regime set on September 21, 4:00PM at the
Luneta Park. We will not back down from his regime of tyranny and
repression.#

Reference: Clemente Bautista, National Coordinator, Kalikasan PNE – 0905
432 5211

National Secretariat
Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment
26 Matulungin St. Central District, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, 1100
Tel: 02 920 90 99 | E-mail: secretariat@kalikasan.net | Site:
www.kalikasan.net