People’s ultimatum on the environment vs. Aquino gov’t delivered on Earth Day, environmentalists call for president’s resignation

April 22, 2015

By Kalikasan PNE

QUEZON CITY, Metro Manila—Disgusted over President Noynoy Aquino’s performance on managing the country’s natural resources and protecting the environment, the Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE), fisherfolk federation PAMALAKAYA, scientist group AGHAM, and other green groups demanded for BS Aquino’s resignation as they delivered their ‘People’s Ultimatum’ on the environment to the Aquino administration during the 2015 Earth Day commemorations.

Displaying a tableau depicting President Noynoy Aquino ‘dumped’ in a trash can, over 100 grassroots and environmental activists held a protest action today at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

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Green groups demanding for PNOY's resignation during the commemoration of 2015 Earth Day.

Green groups demanding for PNOY’s resignation during the commemoration of 2015 Earth Day. Image from Kalikasan PNE

“The past five years of Aquino’s environmental, economic and military policies has done nothing to arrest and has instead promoted development aggression that has led to widespread environmental destruction and natural resource plunder. If Aquino and his environment officials are unable to take substantial action on outstanding issues of pollution, plunder, and militarization, they should resign from their post and be held to account for their environmental crimes,” said Clemente Bautista, national coordinator of Kalikasan PNE.

The protesters also held a protest ‘art attack’ visualizing the environmental demands of the People’s Ultimatum:

1. Scrap the Mining Act of 1995 and impose a moratorium on all foreign, large-scale mining projects.

2. Impose a moratorium on all new coal-fired power plants that have displaced communities and have caused serious environmental destruction or pollution.

3. Bring justice to the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda and other recent major disasters through just compensation, rehabilitation and risk reduction measures, with due emphasis on addressing the growing crisis of climate change.

4. Pull out all military and paramilitary troops that have been serving as investment defense forces of big mines, plantations, and other forms of development aggression. Immediately resolve the 47 cases of killings victimizing environmental advocates.

5. End the Visiting Forces Agreement, Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), and all other onerous military treaties that have allowed US troops to despoil our environment with impunity.

6. Revocation of the National Reclamation Plan and cancellation of all approved reclamation projects, especially those covering protected areas and major sources of livelihood.

7. Compel the resignation if not ouster of Aquino, to subject him to genuine mechanisms for accountability of his various environmental and political crimes, unimpeded by his allies in government.

“After five years, the Aquino administration perpetuated 47 cases of environmentalist killings, criminally neglected the world’s historically strongest typhoon disaster and mine spill disaster, and further sold out our sovereignty through US-PH military agreements, and put up our national patrimony for sale through policies such as the Executive Order 79 on mining, or sweetheart coal and large dam deals under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act,” explained Bautista.

The protesters said the demands served as a platform for immediate important reforms in the country’s environmental policy regime, which they planned to advocate in various venues, ranging from government dialogues, the proposed People’s Transition Council, down to the upcoming 2016 national elections.

“There should be proactive action in demanding much-needed social change and the accountability of the Aquino regime for its various crimes to the people and the environment. We challenge the Philippine environmental movement not to shy away from this political fight and take up this challenge of standing up to the gargantuan environmental crimes of Aquino on this Earth Day,” ended Bautista.###

Reference: Clemente Bautista – 0922 844 9787