WHAT WENT BEFORE: PH is deadliest country for environmental defenders
The Philippines has long been considered a dangerous country for environmental defenders.
According to the Global Witness, a Britain-based international nongovernmental organization which campaigns against environmental and human rights violations, the Philippines is the deadliest country for environmental activists in 2018.
A total of 164 defenders were killed last year around the world, while countless more were silenced through violent attacks, death threats, arrests and lawsuits, it said.
It recorded 30 people killed in the Philippines, half of them due to opposition to agribusiness, including plantations.
From 2017 to 2019, at least 87 defenders had been killed, according to Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan).
Between 2001 and 2018, Kalikasan has tallied 223 deaths, a majority of which related to mining. Half of these killings took place in Mindanao.
In May 2017, four masked men burned the house of Patrick Angelia, a government forest ranger assigned to the enforcement section of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office in Surigao del Sur.
In August 2017, government forester Lito Eyala was shot and wounded by a suspected timber poacher in Puerto Princesa City.
In September 2017, Ruben Arzaga, a village chief in Palawan province and member of an environmental monitoring board, was shot and killed while he was arresting suspected illegal loggers.
In February 2018, armed men believed to be goons of illegal loggers fired at a group of forest rangers during an operation in Infanta, Quezon.
In June 2018, forester Dominador Lucas was gunned down after leaving his house in Antipolo to head to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources office in Tanay, Rizal.
Source: Inquirer Archives
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