Hands Off Scientists! Hands Off Environment Defenders!

AGHAM’s statement on the red tagging of AGHAM’s Secretary General

17 October 2018

AGHAM condemns the vicious and malicious red-tagging and demonization of
our very own National Secretary General, Feny Cosico, in what appears to
be renewed efforts of the Philippine Army to terrorize and silence town
residents and supporters alike. For more than a decade, residents of
Kasibu have been very vocal against the destructive large-scale mining
operations in their town, which is now being operated by Oceana Gold
Corporation (OGC).

Reports have reached the AGHAM National Secretariat that a list of
alleged New People’s Army (NPA) members, recruiters, and contacts have
been making the rounds in Kasibu and nearby towns. Named in the list are
leaders of peoples’ and peasant organizations, their local
organizations, as well as their supporters. Ms. Cosico is listed in one
of these lists as an “NPA contact”.

In 2008, AGHAM was part of an International Solidarity Mission to Kasibu
that found massive environmental destruction and rights violations in
the wake of OGC’s operations that started to take over former owner
Climax Arimco Mining Co. in 2007. In April 2014 AGHAM led an
environmental investigation mission (EIM) in Kasibu to evaluate the
impacts of OGC’s operations in the area, which found turbid water and
heavy metal contamination that can be attributed to the mine as well as
human rights violations being done against local residents of the town.
AGHAM was also part of an International Solidarity Mission, with
delegates of the International People’s Conference on Mining, to Didipio
village in Kasibu in 2015.

We challenge the proponents of these despicable and cowardly acts of
red-tagging and demonization to show their faces and provide sound
evidence of their hollow claims. Otherwise, their actions are putting
the lives of very steadfast and dedicated leaders at risk by putting
them in the line of fire of state security and paramilitary forces.

Furthermore, we in AGHAM assiduously assert that offering our services
and expertise to help local communities in need of technical support is
part and parcel of our work and mission as scientists and technologists
for the people. These vile attempts at demonizing our leaders will only
make us ever more resolved to work hand in hand with the most
marginalized and slandered peoples and communities – the farmers,
fisherfolk, indigenous peoples, workers, and urban poor – in achieving
just peace, genuine democratic reforms, and an environmentally
sustainable, nationalist and pro-people economy that benefits the
poorest of Filipinos.#

AGHAM Advocates of Science and Technology for the People
2nd floor, Elden Tejada Building
#2 KH Street, Brgy. West Kamias, Quezon City, Philippines
+632 2824129 | agham.national@gmail.com | www.agham.org
Make science and technology serve the people!