Environmental group calls Aquino admin ‘polluter,’ anti-environment
In time for the release of Pope Francis’ much awaited encyclical on climate change and the environment, an environmental group on Friday slammed the Aquino administration’s supposed “environmentally destructive” policies, saying the Philippines should serve as model for other climate-vulnerable countries in the world.
Calling President Aquino a “polluter politician,” Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) said the Philippine Catholic Church and Filipinos in general should step up its action against large-scale mining and other forms of “development aggression.”
“Pope Francis challenges poor countries such as the Philippines ‘to eliminate extreme poverty and to promote social development of the people,’ while combating the ‘scandalous level of consumption’ and ‘corruption’ of the local ruling classes, and pushing for propeople and pro-environment policies at the national and local levels,” Kalikasan PNE said in a statement.
The group has been opposing the impending large-scale mining project of an Australian-Canadian firm in Lobo, Batangas, and the construction of a controversial coal-fired power plant in Palawan.
“[T]he Aquino administration persists in perpetuating the rapacious plunder and pollution of our environment and natural resources at the expense of the worker and peasant majority,” the statement added.
Calling for a “People Power Renaissance,” Kalikasan PNE said Church officials should kickstart social action “to take to task corrupt and polluter politicians such as President Aquino.”
“The Church and the public are also enjoined to stand against such viciously antipoor, environmentally destructive, and colonial policies under the Aquino administration as the Mining Act of 1995, the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001, the Forestry Code of 1978, the Visiting Forces Agreement, and the National Reclamation Plan, among others,” the group said.
Kalikasan PNE also echoed the Pope’s call to large business, capitalists, and first-world countries to consider the plight of underdeveloped nations in advancing certain technologies “in the name of profit and for the benefit of the few.”
“The Holy Father challenges the First World to respect their obligations to the Third World and to ‘our common home.’ His Holiness did so by refusing instruments such as carbon credits and the ‘internationalization of environmental costs’ that would let big businesses and industrial countries run scot-free while imposing heavier burdens on poor countries in the process,” the statement added.
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