LETTER OF COMPLAINT AGAINST
THE BACOOR CITY LOCAL GOVERNMENT,
PARTICULARLY MAYOR LANI MERCADO-REVILLA FOR PUSHING THE 420-HECTARE BACOOR RECLAMATION AND DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (BRDP) AND DIAMOND RECLAMATION AND DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (DRDP) AMID THE 2008 SUPREME COURT MANDAMUS, VARIOUS ISSUANCES, AND EXISTING ENVIRONMENTAL AND FISHERIES LAWS
February 17, 2019
HON. SAMUEL R. MARTIRES
Office of the Ombudsman
DEAR OMBUDSMAN MARTIRES:
We, small fisherfolk belonging to the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) and residents of Bacoor City, Cavite province, are sending this letter of collective complaint against the pushing of the projects covering 420 hectares, that involve the:
- THE BACOOR RECLAMATION AND DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (320 hectares); AND
- DIAMOND RECLAMATION AND DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (100 hectares),
by the Bacoor City Local Government, particularly by:
- MAYOR LANI MERCADO-REVILLA (born as Jesusa Victoria Garcia Hernandez).
We firmly oppose these projects as they clearly contradict the:
- 2008 Supreme Court mandamus to “clean up, restore and rehabilitate” Manila Bay, as well as;
- the Administrative Order No. 16 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte on February 21, 2019;
- the Manila Bay Rehabilitation Program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR); and
- existing environmental and fisheries laws in the country, as invoked by the abovementioned issuances.
Moreover, the small fisherfolk of Bacoor City is complaining about an ongoing reclamation activity of fishpond located in Barangay Maliksi III of the said city, beside a public cemetery, involving equipments from the Bacoor City local government, but the activity is without signages of project details. It is dump-filling the fish pond with materials mixed with garbage and is threatening to destroy the remaining mangrove forests in the coastal town. Up to the present, the residents are only assuming that this is a project of the local government, but are also questioning:
- the doubtfulness as no public consultation or information was carried out, on the name of the project, its implementing office, completion period and the amount of public funds being used; and
- legality as “Public lands such as tidal swamps, mangroves, marshes, foreshore lands and ponds suitable for fishery operations shall not be disposed or alienated,” as stated in the Republic Act 8550 or the Fisheries Code of 1998.
The Bacoor City small fisherfolk is also questioning the projects of the local government, when according to the 2008 Supreme Court mandamus on Manila Bay Rehabilitation:
“(5) Pursuant to Sec. 65 of RA 8550, the DA, through the BFAR, is ordered to improve and restore the marine life of the Manila Bay. It is also directed to assist the LGUs in Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan, Pampanga, and Bataan in developing, using recognized methods, the fisheries and aquatic resources in the Manila Bay.”
it should have been coordinating with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to improve the marine life and state of fishery production in the city, but actually carrying out the very opposite, or its very destruction via the proposed reclamation projects.
In the pursuance of Genuine Manila Bay Rehabilitation and upholding of the socio-economic rights of the small fisherfolk of Bacoor City, we are submitting this complaint and are optimistic that the august Office of the Ombudsman serve as a staunch defender of the environment, as well, as champion of the wisdom of the 2008 Supreme Court mandamus against the profit-driven and anti-people development projects being pushed by the Bacoor City local government, particularly by Mayor Mercado-Revilla.
This PDF Copy.