Defending the Philippines: Environmental activists at the mercy of business at all costs
Violence against land and environmental defenders is a systemic problem, spanning many different regions of the country and many different industries, and the army uses force to silence activism. 52 defenders have been killed extra-judicially in the last three years... Indigenous leader Renato Anglao was murdered in Bukidnon after leading some protests against the violations of indigenous rights by ranchers doing business with the international ‘agri-giants’, like former Del Monte Consultant Lorenzo. In Palawan, Ruben Arzaga, member of a group opposing the illicit hardwood logging fueled by the surge in boutique hotels, was the twelfth murdered in less than two decades. Other defenders have been threatened by local businessmen. In Compostela Valley, a farmers’ association leader, Jimmy Saypan, was murdered after protesting against the illegal activities of a gold and silver mine linked to San Miguel Corporation, headed by Duterte donor Ang. Others members have been imprisoned or harassed by the army. In Bataan, following Gloria Capitan’s murder, community activists are threatened for opposing a toxic coal-power plant imposed without proper consultation, controlled by San Miguel Corporation, and backed by Standard Chartered and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation... In none of these cases has justice been done...[Refers also to Dole, Itochu, JP Morgan Chase & Seafront].