Condemning recent Baguio tree balling: Youth slam Sy’s ‘corporate greed’, Aquino’s ‘noynoying’ on Earth Day


PRESS RELEASE

APRIL 22, 2012

Condemning recent Baguio tree balling

Youth slam Sy’s ‘corporate greed’, Aquino’s ‘noynoying’ on Earth Day

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Youth and students storm SM Calamba today condemning the SM Group of Companies prime owner Henry Sy’s ‘corporate greed’. The protesters also slam Aquino government’s ‘noynoying’ on Earth Day amidst series of protests condemning environmental destruction by the “rich and powerful few”.

“For the youth, today is a day of protest,” said Maria Paula Sarigumba, chairperson of the UPLB College of Forestry and Natural Resources Student Council. “We witness how the likes of Henry Sy continuously gain millions of profit at the expense of our environment. What’s at stake here is our future.”

“The environment is one of our most precious inheritances from the present generation,” Sarigumba said, “We will not allow that our children can no longer thrive in an environment with clean air, potable water and beautiful biodiversity because corporate greed extracted all our rich natural resources in the name of profit.”

“Aside from the Baguio tree balling that will pave the way for SM Baguio expansion, we are also condemning Henry Sy’s land grabbing in Hacienda Looc, which will convert chiefly agricultural lands to golf courses, club houses and ports,” said Carla Bertulfo, member of Kabataan Partylist-Southern Tagalog.

Bertulfo expressed support with the on-going protest of farmers and fisher folks in the four barangays covered by the Hacienda Looc in Nasugbu, Batangas. They condemned SM Development Corporation’s land-use conversion affecting 2,052 farmers in Barangay Calayo alone, Bertulfo added.

Meanwhile, the protesters also called for the scrapping of the Mining Act 1995, which they accused of legalizing foreign large-scale mining companies’ “plunder” of domestic mineral resources. “The crafting of the People’s Mining Bill is a breakthrough and, thus, our prime advocacy on mining issue,” Bertulfo said.

“The bill, unlike the existing Mining Act, is centered on people’s welfare and environmental sustainable development rather than profit motive,” she added.

On the glaring environmental destruction, the protesters expressed dissatisfaction towards the Aquino government’s “lack of appropriate action”. “As usual, Mr. Aquino is ‘noynoying’ on this day. Instead of upholding national patrimony and environmental protection, he turned a blind eye on the potential coral reef destruction in Palawan due to Balikatan exercises’ plans to have live ammunitions underwater,” she continued.

“We are resolved to bring the issue of environmental destruction to a widespread protest. This is the beginning of our series of protest actions that will culminate on May 1, as we celebrate international Labor Day,” Bertulfo said. ###

For further details, please contact Christina Madeja at 09058915908 or visit http://www.anakbayanuplb.wordpress.com

References:

Maria Paula Sarigumba, UPLB CFNR Student Council, 09159960612

Carla Bertulfo, Kabataan Partylist-ST, 09057724737



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