Monday, October 19, 2009

Groups vow to push fight vs. power firms

FOUR environmental groups said they will expand their opposition against the construction of two coal-fired power plants of the Korean Electric Company-SPC Power Corp. (Kepco-SPC) consortium.

The move showed the groups were unfazed by the rally in the City of Naga last week, where about 1,000 people expressed their support to the projects.

The Global Legal Action against Climate Change (GLACC), Fisherfolk Development Center (Fidec), Farmers Development Center (Fardec)) and the Naganhong Parokyano alang sa Kaluwasan sa Banay sa Naga (Nagpakabana Naga) said they will not only block the entry of Kepco-SPC but will also work on having the existing plants shut down.

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The four groups will hold a press conference today to announce a series of mass protests and actions related to offshore mining, climate change and the Balili Beach Resort controversy.

The groups will hold the conference in celebration of the International Day of Climate Action.

Fidec executive director Vince Cinches said the Balili issue was accidentally discovered because they questioned why Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia entered into an agreement with Kepco for Capitol to dispose of the toxic waste of the Korean firm.


He said they received reports from their supporters in Naga that those who joined the rally were paid by somebody who is close to Kepco at P150 each.

“The Naga people who are pro-environment reported that to us. We are investigating it,” Cinches said.

But Naga Mayor Valdemar Chiong refused to comment on the matter. He said no amount of explanation can change the mind of Cinches and the others because they have another agenda.

Inoboran, Naga Barangay Captain Rodolfo Tomada Sr. said he and his constituents joined the rally in favor of Kepco because nobody has died of pollution-related diseases in Naga and Kepco will improve the town’s economy.

Lawyer Benjamin Cabrido of GLACC said they are now polishing their petition to the Supreme Court for the High Tribunal to stop the construction of coal-fired plants in Cebu.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 19, 2009.

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