Not on the online edition.
the smell of Lafayette's
Community Relations office
is rather strong on this one.
Whatever happened to
Balanced News, Fearless Views?
Our response at the next blog.
Give us jobs, Rapu-Rapu folk challenge militants
Philippine Daily Inquirer, 12 December 2007, page A11
LEADERS AND RESIDENTS of Rapu-Rapu in Albay yesterday challenged militant groups to help the poor mining community and create jobs should they succeed in getting
“These outsiders are risking our future and our lives in the name of the environment. Their real advocacy is to keep us poor and desperate and we all know why. And they get paid for what they do,” the residents said in a joint press statement signed by barangay chairmen, councilors and residents, who said the militants and even some Church people had resorted to lying to scare the public of non-existent disasters they blame on the project.
Militant anti-mining groups led by Greenpeace have opposed the mining project in the area. A commission, headed by then Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes, said mining spills had contaminated coastal areas with mercury and other toxic chemicals, diminishing local fishermen’s catch and causing skin diseases among some of the residents.
But allegations of mercury contamination were never substantiated and were even declared a “hoax” by supporters of the mining operation.
“It is not true that there was a fishkill in Pagcolbon, where the project is, and in neighboring barangays. I live here and I can tell you we had a perfectly normal life until these outsiders started telling the world we had a fishkill,” said the press statement quoting Pagcolbon resident Ananias Balato.
“The world believed these because Rapu-Rapu is so remote that there was no immediate way of checking. But if only people can come and see for themselves, including the priests who prefer to just stay in the comfort of Legaspi City, they would realize they are actually putting at risk our present and our future without any basis,” he was quoted as saying.
Militants associated with Sagip Isla, Gabriela, Bayan and other groups have camped out in a park in
Government experts, however, ruled out the project as the cause of a supposed fishkill, which is more than 10 kilometers away.