23 July 2018

Enough is enough! The Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment joins other sectors in calling out the Duterte regime’s failed promises, empty rhetoric, and gunpowder mentality—particularly  when it comes to environmental issues.

We call an end on this regime’s continuing silence on the Chinese imperialists’ destruction of our ecologically critical coral reefs in West Philippine Sea. We are with the 80% of the Filipino people opposed to the Duterte regime’s continuing inaction over China’s continuing occupation and reclamation efforts in our water. We are with 90% of the Filipino people who strongly believe retaking the reefs and shoals turned into islands are on just grounds.

Duterte’s centerpiece environmental program, the rehabilitation of Boracay, is a fake program much like their attribution of a whale shark sighting to the jury-rigged rehab and lockdown of the island. No concrete action has been taken on the still-permitted mega-casinos and big resorts, and attempts at independent investigations into the island’s situation are being prevented.

Duterte’s hogwash rants against the big mines are being contradicted by the actions of his own Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) which is set to reopen and allow to operate at least 24 of the 28 big mines supposedly up for closure or suspension. More and more people will get to see for whom this regime indeed stands for: the mining oligarchs at the helm of his own Congress and Cabinet.

We also call an end to Martial Law in Mindanao and an end to the militarization of communities opposed to destructive projects such as mining, megadams, logging, and plantation expansion. With the creeping dictatorship of the Duterte regime, the 58th slain environmental defender under the current dispensation will surely not be the last. At least 46 environmental defenders are listed as a ‘terrorist’ by the DOJ—making them vulnerable to extrajudicial killings that this regime is encouraging against its whom it tags as ‘threats.’

We resoundingly reject Duterte’s Cha-cha which would only open up more of our natural resources, lands, and coastal areas to 100% privatization and foreign ownership. That same Cha-cha will give sweeping powers to his regional dynastic cronies to amass more wealth at the expense of the country’s environment.

The year-long efforts of the Duterte government to address ecological and climate crises in 2018 is not commensurate to the rate of ecological losses our nation is facing. On the other hand, his regime is even encouraging policies which threaten to exacerbate these losses.

Thus, it is indeed a high time that we in the environmental movement register utter disappointment with this anti-environment regime. Enough with the Duterte regime! Let us put an end to this despicable regime!#