Twelve Greenpeace activists and volunteers from New Zealand, Australia, China and the Philippines were arrested and charged today for trespassing on the Masinloc coal power plant in Zambales, Philippines. The 12 were released without any bail posted.
Greenpeace acitivists detained by security personnel during a protest action at the Masinloc coal power plant in the Philippines. A German Greenpeace activist participating in the protest was badly beaten by local plant personnel and three other Greenpeace activists from New Zealand and the Philippines had stones thrown at them. Greenpeace activists were at the plant to draw attention to Australian and Japanese backing of the expansion of climate changing coal dependency in Asia.
"We will contest the legality of this charge," said Greenpeace International's Energy Campaigner Athena Ronquillo in Zambales today. "It is outrageous that the Masinloc plant decided not to press charges yet the police have taken it on themselves to do so."
"Greenpeace condemns this violent attack to a peaceful protest," said Greenpeace Southeast Asia Energy Campaigner Red Constantino. "We are being charged after five of our people were attacked by plant staff , two of them viciously. "We're disappointed that the Filipino plant personnel prefers to protect the interests of a power plant that brings more harm than good to people. Coal is the culprit here, not peaceful protest. Greenpeace is more determine than ever to take the message of the Asia Energy Revolution Tour to the public: Stop Climate Change: Clean Energy Now.
Earlier in the day, plant personnel attacked five Greenpeace activists. Jens Loewe, 36, a Greenpeace volunteer from Germany and Tomas Leonor, 24, a Filipino activist were both badly beaten by plant personnel. Stones were thrown by plant personnel at two female activists, Debra Gay Pristor from New Zealand and Pam Palma from the Philippines. An unidentified object was thrown by plant personnel at Filipino activist Janine Mercado. All five people were taken to hospital. Loewe was found not to have broken bones or fractured any limbs but he, along with his four other colleagues, will undergo further examination.
For further information, contact:
In the Philippines, Michael Kessler, +63 915 450066
In Amsterdam, Gina Sanchez, +31 627 0000 64
Photos available from Greenpeace International Press Desk, + 31 6 5381 9121