San Miguel Corporation
Fisherfolk says no to Bulacan international airport
Manila, Philippines – The national fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) opposes the international airport project in Bulacan that has been approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
With NEDA’s approval, Ramong Ang’s San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is set to build, operate, and maintain the P700-billion international “aerotropolis” which involves an airport covering 1,168 hectares and a city complex to be built at a 2,500-hectare area along Manila Bay in Bulacan, Bulacan.
For its part, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson and former Anakpawis Partylist solon Fernando Hicap said the project will lead to environmental disaster in Manila Bay threatening the livelihood of more than 20,000 fisherfolk in the municipality of Bulacan, Bulacan and other neighboring towns.
“This project will not only destroy marine ecosystem, but also the livelihood of thousands of fisherfolk who subsist by fishing in the rich fishing hub of Manila Bay,” Hicap said, also lambasting President Rodrigo Duterte for selling out fishing waters and coastal communities to foreign investors and giant developers trough his Build, Build, Build (BBB) program.
“President Duterte is on a roll in selling our coastal waters to big-time business magnates; not less than 5 destructive reclamation projects have been approved in Manila Bay since he assumed post as chief executive, all at the expense of socio-economic rights of hundreds of thousands of fisherfolk and coastal settlers,” added Hicap.
Fisherfolk organizers harassed, chased down by elements of PNP in Sariaya, Quezon
Sariaya, Quezon – The provincial organizers of the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) in Sariaya, Quezon reported harassment from the elements of the Philippine National Police (PNP) under the 415th Provincial Police Mobile Group.
Ara Marcellana, PAMALAKAYA-Southern Tagalog Coordinator and organizer reported that on the morning of February 18, at least 10 elements of the PNP have searched and rummaged Barangay Guisguis Talon where she and her co-organizers had last went into. The elements of the PNP that were in a full battle gear have threatened and interrogated fisherfolk leaders in the community and told them not to entertain the organizers or else they will get involved in the arrest.
“This is the sum of all our fears, the government-declared all-out-war is actually a total war versus unarmed and legal activists fighting for the welfare of the marginalized sectors in the countryside. We vehemently condemn the PNP and its elements in the strongest terms possible for the harassment and fear they brought to the fisherfolk of Quezon. Our members and organizers in Quezon are active members of PAMALAKAYA that legitimately waging their local struggle which is the planned conversion of their fishing community into private venture,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
Fisherfolk hits proposed power-plant project in Sariaya
Sariaya, Quezon – The municipal chapter of the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) in Sariaya, Quezon opposes the proposed power plant by the San Miguel Corp. (SMC) which plan to construct along the town’s four coastal barangays, namely, Barangay Guisguis Talon, Guisguis San Roque, Castanas and Talaan Aplaya.
The proposed project has yet to release its details but according to Sariaya Mayor Marcelo Gayeta during a pre-dialogue with the fisherfolk leaders on Monday, he had held a meeting with representatives of SMC regarding the planned power plant after he assumed his post last year.
“Our municipal Mayor has already revealed that SMC plans to construct its power plant in our coastal community at the cost of our right to livelihood and shelter,” Virgilio Sabate, PAMALAKAYA-Sariaya Chairperson said in a statement.
PAMALAKAYA-Saraya said the project would mean to displace more than 15,000 fisherfolk and coastal residents in Sariaya. The fisherfolk group said they have received warning last year that they should vacate their community for their land was already sold to an unidentified businessman.