Rappler’s libel accuser also environmental destroyer — group
Manila, Philippines — “It turns out that the accuser of Rappler chief and its former researcher is also the businessman who is about to displace fishing families and destroy the marine resources in the southern part of Manila Bay through reclamation,” According to the national fishers group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA), saying businessman Wilfredo Keng, President of the Century Peak Corp. (CPC) is the proponent, along with the Cavite provincial government, of the 2,200-hectare reclamation project in Manila Bay covering the said province.
Citing the study of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), PAMALAKAYA said about 72% of reef area in Manila Bay is found in Cavite. The DENR also discovered live corals covering the southern part of Manila Bay, which according to the fishers group, are now under threat courtesy of thousands of hectares of reclamation across Manila Bay.
“Mr. Keng has no moral ascendancy to begin with. His accusation against Rappler was clearly politically motivated and part of President Duterte’s attack against the free and critical press. The Duterte government is so desperate in persecuting its critics that it even mobilizes cronies who have no dignity and credibility such as Mr. Keng,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.
PAMALAKAYA said that Mr. Keng’s CPC was also called out and described as a “recidivist environmental violator” by the regional director of Mines and Geosciences Bureau for Caraga Region (MGB-Caraga) for its continuous nickel mining operations in Dinagat Island despite having been penalized several times over environmental violations.
The fisherfolk group slated President Duterte that “while it banners rehabilitation facade, an established crony of his is actually a proponent of a destructive reclamation project in Manila Bay”.
The fishers group added that aside from the reclamation proposed by the Cavite local government and CPC, there is a 420-hectare reclamation project proposed by the Bacoor City local government unit (LGU), and a 200-hectare reclamation project of the J. Bros. Construction in Rosario, Cavite.
PAMALAKAYA said that “these reclamation projects threaten to displace at least 26, 000 coastal families from the towns of Bacoor, Noveleta, Kawit, Rosario, and Cavite City.”
“With rabid attack dogs who from being notorious environmental destroyers are now press freedom stumbling block serving the regime, reclamation projects in Manila Bay are more likely to push through amid the earlier objection of President Duterte,” ended Hicap. ###