We from the Save Rapu-Rapu Alliance (SARA) are proud that we have remained true to our name and pledge since our inception. We therefore protect and uphold our honor by being upright in both word and deed. We consider it an affront not just on the alliance but on our environmental advocacy as well when people formerly associated with us are now working as advocates of big mining companies that have devastated the island of Rapu-Rapu and other parts of the region.
It is in this light we are now formally cutting our ties with Mr. Manuel “Nong” Rangasa, currently the Executive Director of the Center for Initiatives and Research on Climate Change Adaptation (CIRCA) who has time and again tried to project himself as an environmental crusader but all the while maneuvering to win the graces of big transnational mining companies.
An evidence of Mr. Rangasa’s advocacy for mining companies was his suggestion during the meeting on October 11, 2010 in preparation for the LGU Summit +3i that mining companies namely Rapu-Rapu Polymetallic Project, Filminera, and Goodfound Cement Corporation be invited to exhibit their best practices on disaster risk reduction. These companies violate Commandment Number 7 of the Ten Commandments on Climate Change proudly flaunted by the Albay Provincial Government:
Thou shall not resort to open pit mining . . . to avert climate change.
Allowing mining companies that operate open pit mines is a mockery of the Provincial Government’s advocacy against climate change. It would cast doubt on its sincerity. Mr. Rangasa’s suggestion is an indication that CIRCA wants to legitimize the violation of Commandment Number 7. We believe that the best practice which these mining companies can showcase is the total and immediate closure of their mines in order that they may contribute to our campaign against climate change.
Mr. Virgilio S. Perdigon, Jr. objected to the suggestion but when he received the copy of the minutes of the meeting, he noted that his statements were deleted. This is the second time that an omission was committed against Mr. Perdigon by Mr. Rangasa. In the 2007 National Conference on Climate Change Adaptation, the former rendered a presentation in Workshop 7 titled “The Impact of Climate Change on the Poor and the Role of the Academe in Adaptation.” It was appreciated by noted environmentalists like Dr. Helen Mendoza and Sr. Aida Velasquez who attended the workshop. However, when Mr. Perdigon received a copy of the final report, the presentation was omitted. But being Mr. Rangasa’s friend he did not mind it.
But this time, attention must be called to this second instance of omission lest Mr. Perdigon and the whole SARA be a party to a disservice to our local community residents who are major stakeholders in the climate change issue. # # #