Tuesday, October 9, 2007


October 9 Press Statement of Alliance of Fisherfolk Against Off-Shore Mining, Defend our Sea Coalition, PAMANA Sugbo, Nagkahiusang Mannagat sa Tajao, Justice and Peace Center Silliman University, and FIDEC Inc.

We are not surprise why the Environmental Management Bureau of the DENR under Mr. Arranguez, despite repeated request, refused to give a copy to the public the basis why the Environmental Compliance Certificate was awarded to Japan Petroleum Exploration Inc.

We are not surprise at all why the EMB is shielding JAPEX from valid questioning and despite hard scientific evidences and first-hand data, went on pursuing various destructive projects in the waters around Central Visayas.

The EMB, DOE, and JAPEX stood as doting parents in the destructive seismic activities as a prelude to an even more destructive off-shore mining in the protected seascape of Tañon Strait.

After months of assuming the role of investigators and detectives we found a document – unfortunately for us; the fisherfolks, environmental advocates, and taxpayers – we found the Initial Environmental Evaluation was used to justify the released of the ECC to Japex instead of the more thorough and comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment and Statement.

We reviewed, evaluated, and weighed the IEE but found it wanting.

Despite scientific consensus – the proponent and their cohorts in the government will pursue drilling activities in the coming months, effectively dislocating thousands of fisherfolks, destroying our marine resources dubbed as the epicenter of global marine biodiversity, and affecting our food security.

We echo the points raised by the 1992 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for Public Service and the present University Research Professor and Director of the Silliman University, Dr. Angel Alcala that the “IEE document wanting in the critical survey data and information needed for determining the environmental and socio-economic impacts of the proposed operation of JAPEX”

Enough of this utter Collusion and Deception, we give this marching order to various fisherfolk organizations in the region to conduct massive information campaign that will lead to mobilizing their sectors and other stakeholders as well against this project and other off-shore mining projects in the Visayas.

On the other hand we call on our national political figures to make a stand against these destructive and make urgent the house resolution calling for an investigation over off-shore mining in the Visayas. We urged them to stand against JPEPA as well, since JPEPA will serve as the backbone of the aggression of JAPEX in our waters.

We call on the Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC) to withdraw its fund-support to JAPEX operation in the Philippines- your money will only increase poverty and environmental destruction in the region.

Enough of destruction and imperialist plunder. Ban Japex in Tañon Strait. Pursue Sustainable energy and use of our resources now.
Struggle for Genuine National Industrialization.

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