Home Headlines Fishers group hits SMC for defying Duterte stand vs. reclamation projects

Fishers group hits SMC for defying Duterte stand vs. reclamation projects

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RALLY. Fisherfolk, religious and environmental groups protest San Miguel Corp.’s Aerotropolis project in Barangay Taliptip, Bulakan, Bulacan. Contributed photo


CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – The militant Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) denounced San Miguel Corp. for what it called “contempt” of President Duterte’s opposition to reclamation projects in Manila Bay in pushing for its 2,500-hectare Aerotropolis project in Bulakan, Bulacan.

This, even as it challenged Duterte to issue an executive order declaring the bay as a “reclamation- free zone.”

“Mariin naming kinokondena ang hakbang na ito ng San Miguel Corp., ang pagtutulak ng Aerotropolis project na malinaw na magpapalayas sa mga maliliit na mangingisda ng Bulacan at wawasak sa marine environment ng Manila Bay. Ito ay lantarang paglabag sa kautusan ng Supreme Court na i-clean up, i-restore at i-rehabilitate ang naturang dagat, maging sa kautusan mismo ni Duterte na Administrative Order No. 16,” said Pedro “Tata Pido” Gonzales, Pamalakaya national vice chair emeritus, in media interviews.

“Dapat itong tutulan, hindi lamang ng mga mangingisda, kundi ng lahat taga-Bulacan at karatig-probinsya dahil ang epekto nito, tulad ng pagbabara sa mga natural na daluyan ng tubig, ay malawak, at mapapahamak ang napakaraming mga komunidad,” he added.

Pamalakaya earlier joined the “religious unity action” staged by church groups, environmental advocates, and fisherfolk belonging to the Alyansa para sa Pagtatanggol ng Kabuhayan, Paninirahan at Kalikasan sa Manila Bay, and Pamlakaya-Bulacan in opposition to the SMC Aerotropolis project in Barangay Taliptip, Bulakan.

Recalling that only last Monday, President Duterte expressed his opposition to the reclamation projects covering 10,000 hectares of Manila Bay, Gonzales dared the President to “walk his talk” in the face of “SMC’s contempt” of the his expressed stand.

“Sabi ni Duterte ay tutol siya sa reclamation, ngunit ang kanyang mga ahensya ay nagtutulak ng proyektong sasaklawin ang libu-libong ektarya ng dagat, at ang mismong militar niya, ay hinaharas ang mga maliliit na mangingisdang tumututol sa proyekto. Kaya, alin man sa dalawa ang lalabas na totoo, malaking sinungaling si Duterte, o mismong hindi siya sinusunod ng kanyang mga opisyales sa DOTr at AFP, kakutsaba ang San Miguel Corp.,” Gonzales said.

Militarization

Earlier, Pamalakaya denounced what it called as “high military presence” in Barangay Taliptip from December 28 to January 6, that the local fi sherfolk reported as “scouting for a site for their detachment unit in the area.”tachment.

“Sa karanasan ng kilusang mamamalakaya sa bansa, kapag pumasok na ang militar, ibig lang sabihin nito na takot ang gubyerno sa pagtutol ng mamamayan, kaya sila ay humahantong sa harassment o pananakot. Pinapatunayan nitong hindi makatwiran ang proyekto at nilalabag nila ang mga karapatan sa pangingisda at kabuhayan, at mga demokratikong Karapatan,” Gonzales noted. “Hindi dapat ito kinakatakutan ng mamamayan, bagkus, dapat pang ilantad ang kontra-mamamayang proyektong ito.”

He said that the Aerotropolis project will not only affect the small fisherfolk but also other sectors within and adjacent towns, “as an airport with a commercial business district is certainly to be dominated by foreign monopoly and oligarchs such as SMC president Ramon Ang…displacing even the small entrepreneurs.” “Ultimately, the residents will be transformed as slave-like contractual workers or lowly suppliers for big businesses,” he warned, as he urged the residents of Bulakan town to” rise up against the project and assert their rights, protect their communities and families.”

Supreme Court

Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said that the people of Bulakan have all the moral and legal basis to oppose the project. “Inutos na ng Supreme Court na dapat i-rehabilitate ang Manila Bay para sa libangan ng taumbayan at fisheries development. Nagbuo pa nga si Duterte ng task force para rito at ang mismong DENR ay may Manila Bay Rehabilitation Program. Napakalawak ng batayan ng mamamayan para tutulan ang Aerotropolis project, kaya ang istilo lang ng SMC, DOTr at mga opisyal ng LGU ay daanin sa mabilisan ang proyektong ito para palayasin ang mga tumututol, dahil maaari silang kasuhan sa Supreme Court o kahit sa Ombudsman,” Hicap warned.

 

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