Green groups welcome ‘writ of kalikasan’
On Mining
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 11:19

By Abigail Kwok
First Posted 13:56:00 02/09/2010

Filed Under: Environmental Issues, Judiciary (system of justice), Laws, Mining and quarrying

MANILA, Philippines — Environmental groups on Tuesday welcomed Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno’s proposed “writ of kalikasan,” saying the move by was a “progressive measure” taken by the high court to address the “injustices” experienced by Filipinos from ecologically- destructive projects.

The Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM, Alliance to Stop Mining), an environmental group composed of mining-affected communities and civil society organizations, said the proposed writ would also help “address the injustices related to extractive industries and mining, in particular, in the country.”

“The justice system has long been used as a tool by the mining companies to dis-empower communities by filing strategic lawsuits against public participation, or delays in the judicial processes translate to a denial of justice,” ATM national coordinator Jaybee Garganera said in a statement.

Puno has said the writ would help expedite court cases concerning the environment.

The alliance expressed optimism the “writ of kalikasan” will help “save time, energy and monetary resources of mining-affected communities who have suffered long enough from injustices brought by mining corporations in their lives.”

“Moreover, we find the writ an empowering tool that will further encourage people to assert their rights and regain faith in the justice system in the country,” Garganera said.

Haribon executive director Blas Tabaranza said the writ would help address “decades of neglect and degradation that our environment has experienced”

Ronald Gregorio, team leader of the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center-Luzon praised the outgoing Chief Justice.

“We praise Chief Justice Puno for this initiative, taken from the concrete realization that the struggling communities find no better way or law that serves them from the injustices brought about by mining operations and other development projects,” Gregorio said.

He added: “We will continue to struggle with the communities for the scrapping of anti-people and pro-development aggression laws such as the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.”

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 February 2010 11:23

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