Mga Berdugo ng Sangkatauhan at Kalikasan

Mga Berdugo ng Sangkatauhan at Kalikasan

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Isang uri ng dugo ang nananalaytay sa ugat ng mga berdugo ng sangkatauhan at kalikasan – kulay itim na dugo ng kasakiman. Sila ang mga kurakot sa gobyerno, mga drug lords na pasimuno sa illegal na droga, mga illegal loggers at kapitalista ng minahan…mga ganid sa yaman na wala na yatang kasiyahan sukdulan mang masagasaan nila ang karapatan ng ibang tao at masira ang kalikasan.

 

Dahil kahit papaano ay may konsiyensiya din kuno, nagtatago sila sa likod ng maskara na abot-tenga ang ngiti para masabing may busilak silang puso. Upang makapagkunwaring sila ay maka-Diyos, may mga iskolar kuno na pinapaaral, yon pala ay kinakalabaw sa pagtrabaho sa kanilang kumpanya bilang kontraktwal na mga empleyado. Nagpapatayo din sila ng mga simbahan at namimigay ng mga donasyon tuwing may kalamidad, yon nga lang karamihan ay expired o pa-expire na kaya kailangang makain agad at kung hindi ay ibabaon ng DSW na naman sa lupa tulad ng ginawa nila sa Tacloban. Sila yong may mga “Foundation” na itinayo upang magamit lang palang pang-discount sa buwis na dapat nilang bayaran!…mga wise talaga!

 

Mas masahol pa sa on-the-spot na kamatayan ang dulot ng mga berdugong ito dahil unti-unti nilang pinapahirapan ang mga biktima hanggang sa hindi na makagulapay at bumigay….kung hindi dahil sa pagka-adik sa droga ay natokhang nang maging drug runner dahil ang lupang sinasaka sa probinsiyang iniwan ay kinamkam ng mga banyaga upang mapagminahan ng ginto at iba pang likas na yaman.

 

Sila yong nagkakalbo ng dating luntiang kagubatan, ang naghuhukay ng mga lupang nilason ng kemikal na ginamit nila sa pagmimina, na ang tagas ay dumaloy sa mga ilog hanggang sa mga baybaying dagat at pumatay sa mga isda at iba pang yamang-dagat. Sila rin yong nagko-convert ng mga dating sakahan o taniman ng palay at mais upang maging mga subdivision kaya ang bansa na dati ay isa sa mga exporter ng bigas, ngayon ay importer na lang, kaya ang halaga ay halos hindi na kayang abutin ng malaking bahagi ng populasyon ng Pilipinas.

 

Ang mga berdugong ito ay maaaring kapwa Pilipino o mga banyagang dumayo sa ating bansa, nagpundar pero ang kinita ay pinapadala naman sa pinagmulang bansa.

 

 

The Tampakan Open-pit Mining in South Cotabato (Mindanao)…a virtual hell if pushed through

THE TAMPAKAN OPEN-PIT MINING IN SOUTH COTABATO (MINDANAO)

…a virtual hell if pushed through

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Tampakan is located in South Cotabato and has been in the midst of controversy since many years back because of the interest of Saggitarius Mining, Inc. (SMI) to mine its mineral deposits. At a glance, the following are what the issue is all about:

  • It could be the biggest mining project in the country with a pegged financing of USD5.9billion.
  • It is believed to be the world’s largest gold prospect to date.
  • Tampakan site is believed to contain 2.94 billion tons of minerals that include copper at 15million tons of copper and 18 million ounces of gold.
  • The value of production for twenty (20) years is USD37billion.
  • The site covers an aggregate area of about 10,000 hectares that include (Tampakan) South Cotabato, (Columbio) Sultan Kudarat, (Kiblawan) Davao del Sur, and Malungon (Sarangani).
  • Henry Sy of the SM Group is interested in investing in the project.
  • SMI is being controlled by the Alcantara family (“Sagittarius Mines Inc., the owner of the Tampakan project, used to be 62.5-percent owned by Glencore while the remaining 37.5 percent was owned by Indophil Resources NL, which is, in turn, controlled by the Alcantara group through Alsons Prime Investments Corp. (Apic). Glencore’s exit allowed the Alcantara group to consolidate its control of the Tampakan project by exercising its right of first refusal.”)
  • The Tampakan mining site is located only 50 kilometers from General Santos, the hub of commerce in South Cotabato, with its international-standard port and airport; Koronadal and Tacurong City are near Columbio and between them flows the Buluan River which is the outlet of the Rio Grande de Mindanao which partially flows to Ligwasan Marsh.
  • The project is expected to realize Php1trillion.

 

The open-pit mining at Tampakan shall virtually turn the covered areas into hell, what with the displacement of farmers, pollution of all the rivers, streams that eventually towards the bays, and the open pit itself which according to Secretary Gina Lopez herself, is equivalent to 700 football fields, and much much much worst, shall not be covered after the operations!

 

In view of the above, Minadanaoans who live around the area should unite to block the project and provide DENR Secretary Lopez with a “noisy support”. The mining operation if pushed through shall spell the damnation of practically the whole of southern Mindanao because of the harm from its pollutants – chemicals and exhaust fumes. We do not need this kind of investment!

 

On the Abusive Exploitation of Natural Resources and the Philippines

ON THE ABUSIVE EXPLOITATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES

AND THE PHILIPPINES

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

 

THE UTTER EXPLOITATION OF THE NATURAL RESOURCES THAT EVEN GOES BEYOND THE BORDER OF ABUSE HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED AS AMONG THE CAUSES OF POVERTY, FLOOD, AND MOST OF ALL CORRUPTION. IN THE PHILIPPINES, THE GOOD INTENT OF THE SECRETARY OF DENR, GINA LOPEZ IN THIS REGARD, IS UNFORTUNATELY, BEING THWARTED BY SECTORS THAT, OBVIOUSLY, HAVE STAKES IN THIS INDUSTRY. IT IS SO SAD TO NOTE THAT SOME OF THEM ARE NOW PART OF THE DUTERTE ADMINISTRATION.

 

MINING HAS DISPLACED FARMERS, POLLUTED WATER RESOURCES AND BAYS, AND DENUDED FORESTS RESULTING TO FLOODING…AND THESE HAVE BEEN HAPPENING FOR DECADES. THE SITUATION HAS BEEN WORSENED BY THE LAW AUTHORED BY GLORIA ARROYO IN 1995 WHEN SHE WAS YET A SENATOR, ALLOWING FOREIGNERS 100% OWNERSHIP OF LAND THAT THEY CLAIM FOR MINING. THE SITUATION GOT WORST DURING THE ADMINISTRATION OF BENIGNO AQUINO III THAT SAW THE SEEMINGLY UNCONTROLLED ISSUANCE OF PERMITS THAT ENRICHED EVEN LOCAL OFFICIALS.

 

IF THE BISHOPS AND HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATES KUNO ARE REALLY INTERESTED TO HELP THE FILIPINOS, THIS IS THE AREA THAT THEY SHOULD STEP INTO. UNCHECKED ABUSIVE EXPLOITATION OF THE NATURAL RESOURCES OF THE COUNTRY HAVE A FAR- REACHING MAGNITUDE THAT COULD BE GREATER THAN DRUGS THAT AFFECTS HUMAN LIFE ONLY.

 

MINING NOT ONLY RESULTS TO THE SLOW DETERIORATION OF THE NATURAL RESOURCES, POVERTY AND CRUMBLING OF CULTURAL VALUES BUT ALSO, THE WEATHER SYSTEM THAT DIRECTLY AFFECTS THE WHOLE EARTH!

 

 

How the American Parity Rights Provision was inserted in the Philippine Constitution…and who opposed it

How the American Parity Rights

Provision was inserted in the Philippine Constitution

…and who opposed it

By Apolinario Villalobos

The Parity Rights of the Americans was inserted in the Philippine Constitution when Manuel Roxas became the first President of the Philippine Republic in 1946. The said provision gave equal rights to the Americans in the exploitation of the country’s natural resources as well as other business undertakings. In explaining to the Filipinos at Plaza Miranda on March 11, 1947, he said:

“We have today our one big chance to convert our native land into an ideal of democracy. Our one chance is to grow and industrialize to reach the first rank of the nations of the world. We have this chance because of the heroism we displayed in the war, we have this chance because we have demonstrated by deed our love for freedom. We have earned the gratitude of mankind. We can and will show tomorrow that we deserve that gratitude by plunging courageously ahead in the great tasks we face.”

Because of that provision in the Philippine Constitution, the first President of the Republic of the Philippines practically, bound the Filipinos AGAIN to emancipation, this time to Americans.

History teachers never enlightened their students as to who opposed the “emancipation” as only few lines about it were devoted to these “true stalwarts” of Philippine democracy. Among these were Claro M. Recto and Jose P. Laurel who never budged from their commitment to defend the Philippine Constitution. They were joined by Luis Taruc and other elected congressmen who belonged to the Democratic Alliance, whose members were non-collaborators during the WWII, intellectuals and peasants.

The Democratic group posed as hindrance to the passage of the Parity Rights Law which shall alter the Philippine Constitution. With their number, the administration of Roxas feared that the needed three-fourths vote will not be achieved. With the prompting of President Roxas, Congress passed a resolution unseating Taruc and the other members of the Democratic Alliance. The move was based on their alleged electoral frauds and terrorism “committed by Hukbalahaps in Central Luzon which resulted in the election of the six candidates of the Democratic Alliance and one Nacionalista. With them out, the Parity Rights Law was successfully integrated in the Constitution.

The years that followed saw the Filipinos sinking deeper in the muck of poverty, contrary to what Roxas dreamed of prosperity for the whole nation. He was a “dreamy” President whose oratorical promises remained promises until his death.

Today, there is another Roxas who delivers the same kind of promises…although, this time, he “dreams” about the promises of the “tuwid na daan” (straight path) of his mentor, President Pnoy Aquino, son of the former Senator Ninoy Aquino. History, indeed, repeats itself!

Help Mother Nature…Save our Habitat

Help Mother Nature…Save Our Habitat

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

The footages on TV about floods, mountains of garbage, beaches littered with refuse, bald mountains mercilessly destroyed by loggers, rivers and city sewers clogged with plastic wastes and even carcasses of animals, can give chills down the spine of even an emotionally-strong person. To ask what’s wrong is no longer relevant. Everybody knows the what and why, even the who of this issue. But despite the worldwide movement to salvage Mother Nature, majority of the humanity is far from cooperating.

 

Businesses involving manufacture of gadgets, equipment, home appliances, and other enhancements of a “comfortable” life are flourishing at a fantastic alacrity. New inventions are coming out every year. Despite the call to minimize the use of nature and climate-damaging materials, those coming out of factory assembly lines are with even more notoriously destructive components.

 

The call to recycle seems to fall on deaf ears – mostly. If ever, countries do not have encompassing legislations on this. In the Philippines for instance, the response comes in clusters…few cities and towns with their respective local laws prohibiting the use of plastic bags when shopping in the wet market. On the other hand, the national agency, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is running out of ideas on how to eliminate or at least minimize the indiscriminate disposal of waste materials that are blamed for the perennial city flood.

 

Some of us have the instinct of immediately throwing away, anything that we can’t put to immediate use. Fortunately, there are some sectors which are initiating moves in recycling what for others are useless scraps – cloths, cans, old shopping bags, rice sacks. These are transformed into bags, flower pots, vases, tote bags, etc.  Such commendable effort, however, constitute just an insignificant percentage of what is expected.

 

To give a semblance of respectability to the recycling effort, the junks are now called pre-owned. I have come across an inspiring blog about a pretty multi-awarded American actress who claim to prefer pre-owned dresses and accessories, and in the accompanying photo she looks glamorous in one of the dresses with less than five dollars price tag.

 

Why be ashamed of pre-owned things? In the case of garments, it is how you fit in them neatly that counts, and in the case of other things, such as tools and household furnishing, it is your practical perception of their use that should matter . During my college days, three sisters, all of them popular campus personalities earned such recognition because of their pretty faces and the way they carried themselves in dresses tailored from pre-owned oversized skirts, dresses, and Hawaiian shirts that were transformed into elegant mini-skirts and blouses. The eldest among them, did the transformation by dint of her basic knowledge in sewing.

 

A friend has the habit of framing things that others should have thrown, such as old keys, buttons, bottle crowns, etc.  Another friend stacked several old car tires, topped them with a junked table top, and presto!, he now has a lanai table in the center of which are found objects clumped together with strips of bronze electric wires.

 

A well-to-do acquaintance’s home is filled with eclectic assemblage of furnishing he salvaged from junk shops. He could well afford to buy brand new things for his home, but he prefers to rummage in the junk shops for things that he could tinkle with to come up with new contraptions that even surprise him at the end. Sometimes I would join him in rummages and eventually, came up with my own collection of recycled items.

 

Going to the simpler things, recycling is not limited to plastics, rubbers, metals, cloths. It is also about how we treat water and leftover foods. Some of us have the habit of washing utensils under the open faucet or brushing our teeth while water copiously gushes out of it.  This habit is beyond comprehension. When doing the laundry, even clear water is thrown away instead of being used to flush the toilet and clean the garage. Leftover foods are left to the elements on the table so that there will be an excuse to throw them away for being spoiled, when they can be re-cooked with flavor enhancers to transform their delectability. Cold rice is thrown away instead of being fried.  And the worst of all habits is leaving morsels of food on the plate!… which of course, will definitely be thrown away or fed to the pets. This worst habit is very evident in fast food joints and restaurants, with the culprits even showing proud expressions on their faces, as if saying that they can afford to do it.

 

Mother Nature is terribly sick, our habitat is dying, but despite all these, we just shrug our shoulders with indifference.