29 November 2021
Vice-President Leni Robredo made rounds on social media this weekend for softening her stance on the accountability of Armed Forces of the Philippines(AFP) and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict(NTF-ELCAC), with speculations that she was not for the abolishing of the said task force.
We in the Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment are joining the public clamor for independent and opposition presidential candidates to stand with environmental defenders and abolish the NTF-ELCAC, while rechanneling its budget to a just and green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, human rights watchdog Global Witness reported that the Philippines had 29 killings of land and environmental defenders, having the highest death toll in Asia. Despite these challenges, we have firmly stood our ground with indigenous peoples and other environmental defenders to oppose the environmentally destructive projects of the Duterte government.
From 2018, we have faced surveillance operations, red-tagging, harassment, and even an attempted raid targeting our work. Global studies show that environmental defense is an effective form of mobilization for sustainability, even in the face of reprisals and risks.
If the opposition truly stands with us environmental defenders, we call on them to pledge no less than the abolition of this corrupt and violent military task force.
We call on our fellow Filipino people to demand for the highest standards when it comes to choosing our country’s future leaders and the defense of our natural resources for future generations. #
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