Abella says gov’t addressing cases of environmentalist slayings
A Palace official on Saturday said Malacañang is not turning a blind eye on the killings of environmentalists after the Philippines was tagged as the deadliest country for environmental defenders in Asia.
READ: PH still ‘deadliest’ in Asia for environmental activists
“We do not condone such violence and intimidation,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
Environmental monitor Global Witness has declared the Philippines as the deadliest country for environmental defenders in Asia for the fourth straight year.
The group said at least 28 environmentalists were killed in the Philippines in 2016, mostly mining-related killings.
Abella said the government has already created a task force to look into these cases and at the same time protect the rights of environmentalists.
“(The) government has, thus, established the Indigenous Peoples Inter-Agency Task Force composed of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), its corporate arm, the Natural Resources Development Corp. (NRDC) and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) to ensure that indigenous peoples are not subjected to undue pressure and influence from unscrupulous businessmen intending to extract natural resources from their ancestral lands,” he said. JPV
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