Eco activists protest Naga quarry
May B. Miasco (The Freeman) - December 21, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Ninety days after the killer landslide in City of Naga, Cebu, pro-environment advocates staged a protest rally to remind those who were purported as responsible not to bury the tragedy along with the dead bodies.

 

Teody Navea, one of the organizers, said the environmental groups and campaigners call for the concerned entities to take seriously in rehabilitating the damaged land.

The groups are pointing at the Apo Land and Quarry Corporation, and the Naga City government as the entities that should be accountable for the tragedy that claimed at least 78 lives.

Navea said they are also representing the affected communities that continue to seek for justice for the death of their loved ones.

He said the city government and the large-scale quarry firm should rather promote the protection of the environment in Naga to which they believe has deteriorated.

Naga is known as the industrial hub in southern Cebu, home to quarry firms and power plants.

Navea said through the groups’ protest movement, they intend to remind big corporations and officials that another landslide might happen if the latter continues with their irresponsible practices.

The protest rally was collaborated by different groups such as Pusyon Kinaiyahan; Partido Lakas ng Masa and Sanlakas; lawyers-initiated Cebu Action Group; and Philippine Movement for Climate Justice-Cebu.

The event started with a memorial Mass at the landslide area in Sitio Sindulan, Barangay Tina-an. Members then marched in front of Apo Cement Corporation plant and then to the new Naga City Hall.

Navea said both parties seemingly did not welcome their initiative. He said a loud siren at the plant sounded while speakers were bringing up their agenda.

But he said the members were even more aggressive and made a chant that goes along with the siren.

When they proceeded to the City Hall, which is miles away from Tina-an, he said they were blocked by the guards from entering.

But they were able to negotiate and eventually allowed to make a brief speech inside.

The speaker Brother Peter Simon Jardinico, chairman of the Franciscan Solidarity Movement for Justice and Peace Integrity of Creation, said the aggrieved continues to seek for accountability from the tragedy that happened.

He said quarrying firms should stop destroying the mountains that slowly leads to the degradation of the environment.

Jardinico could not accept that the incident was merely caused by a natural phenomenon as what experts said. He asserted that quarrying in Naga has something to do with the tragedy because these activities change the natural landscape and extract natural resources.

He said it is about time that these money-making industries should shift to environment-friendly businesses. — MBG (FREEMAN)

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