Guns, goons and garbage: Illegal waste dump threatens violence on peaceful environmental activists

Press release - July 25, 2013
Manila— PhilEco, the company which owns the illegal waste dump in Manila Bay’s Pier 18, has pulled out guns and has threatened to shoot peaceful environmental activists involved in a non-violent protest to shut down their polluting facility.

Several hours following the shutdown of their dump by activists from Greenpeace Southeast Asia and crew from the ship Esperanza, security personnel cut the mooring lines used to block the pier and forced their way through the blockade of Greenpeace inflatables by threatening to shoot at peaceful activists.

The illegal dumpsite in Pier 18 is known to be heavily guarded with a gang of armed uniformed and plainclothes security. Among waste dumps in Metro Manila, the facility has as a record of harassing environmental and social justice workers. The armed men who guard the dump are extremely protective of the trash which they guard from prying eyes 27/7.

“Greenpeace and EcoWaste Coalition shut down this dumpsite in a peaceful manner to enforce the law,” said Vince Cinches, Oceans Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia. “Our protest is non-violent, upholds Philippine laws, and the constitutional right for every Filipino to live in a healthy environment.

“However, it seems that PhilEco and its heavily armed platoon of security personnel believe they are above the law. How can the government enforce its laws, and do its duty by the Filipino people if it lets companies such as PhilEco get away with rampant violations? This is a crime not just against Manila Bay, but to Filipinos who rely on this body of water for food and livelihood. The government should go hard on this company and show that they are protecting the people and not illegal companies, and are serious about rehabilitating Manila Bay,” he added.

“Pier 18 is using guns and goons to keep operating an illegal dumpsite with impunity. Are our government agencies and local government units so spineless and inutile that they can’t enforce the law they are tasked to uphold?” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator for EcoWaste Coalition. “We are firm in our demand that this dumpsite in Pier 18 must be shut down; and other illegal facilities should follow.”

NOTE:

http://www.greenpeace.org/seasia/ph/press/releases/Illegal-dumpsite-in-Manila-Bay-shut-down-by-Greenpeace-EcoWaste-Coalition/

FOR INTERVIEWS:

Vince Cinches, Oceans Campaigner, , 09175363743

Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition,   Mobile: 09178369592

Virginia Benosa-Llorin, Media Campaigner,   Mobile: 09178228793

FOR PHOTOS AND VIDEOS:

Grace Duran-Cabus, Photo Desk,   Mobile: 09176345126

Amado Barrido, Video Producer,   Mobile: 09176345129

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