SC allows Pamalakaya to intervene in Manila Bay reclamation case

THE Supreme Court in an enbanc resolution issued on September 18, 2012 has allowed the activist fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) to intervene as party to the case regarding the controversial Las Pinas-Paranaque reclamation project jointly undertaken by the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) and the private group All Tech Contractors Inc.

Pamalakaya together with Anakpawis and Bayan Muna party lists, Koalisyon Kontra Kumbersyon ng Manila Bay (KKK-Manila Bay), Alyansa ng Magdaragat ng Bacoor, Cavite Inc. (Alyansa), Center for Environmental Concerns-Philippines (CEC-Philippines), Kalikasan-People’s Network for Environment (Kalikasan-PNE), Pamalakaya-Bulacan, Save Freedom Island Movement (SFIM), Sagip Manila Bay Movement, Earth Island Philippines and Alliance for Stewardship and Authentic Progress (ASAP) have effectively joined petitioners former Las Pinas Rep. Cynthia Villar and 315, 849 residents of Las Pinas city in opposing the reclamation project.

“This is just the beginning of a new chapter in the fight against large-scale and destructive reclamation projects of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III  under the PPP (Public-Private Partnership) inspired National Reclamation Project. We welcome this development. We are now an official party to the case against the Las Pinas-Paranaque reclamation project,” said Pamalakaya national chairperson and Anakpawis no.1 nominee Fernando Hicap.

The SC enbanc resolution says” G.R No. 200782 (Cynthia A. Villar, former member of the House of Representatives, Lone district of Las Pinas City (supported by Three Hundred Fifteen Thousand and Eight hundred Forty Nine (315,849) residents of Las Pinas City vs. AllTech Contractors Inc., Philippine Reclamation Authority, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Environmental Management Bureau, city of Las Pinas, Paranaque City and Municipality of Bacoor—The Court resolved to refer the very urgent motion for leave to intervene dated September 5, 2012 as filed by Atty. Minerva F. Lopez, counsel for intervenors Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas to the Court of Appeals due to prior referral of this case to the said court.”

On September 5, Pamalakaya and 11 allied organizations filed a motion to intervene as petitioners to the case involving the reclamation of 635 hectares enjoining the two cities, which will affect the remaining 175 hectare mangrove forest and bird sanctuary.

In their 14-page motion to intervene, the groups argued that the P 14-B Las Pinas-Paranaque reclamation project involving 203.43 hectares of Paranaque coastal territory and 431.71 hectares of Las Pinas territory is major threat to the livelihood of small fisherfolk sourcing their subsistence from Manila Bay.

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