Laguna trial court has lifted warrant of arrest against Greenpeace campaigners

Press release - November 11, 2013
Quezon City, Philippines - The bench warrant issued against three Greenpeace campaigners for allegedly failing to attend a court hearing in connection with a decontamination action on a Bt talong field trial has been lifted following the November 6, 2013 appearance of the three Greenpeace staff accused of a malicious mischief case before the Laguna Municipal Trial Court.

The bench warrant issued on 25 October has been lifted after Daniel Ocampo, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Sustainable Agriculture and Genetic Engineering Campaigner and two others appeared before the court and presented their earlier motion requesting for the rescheduling of the 14 October hearing.

“What we also put forward to the court is our opposition to the delayed submission of the judicial affidavit of Dr. Taylo and the other witnesses which do not conform with the required format of the Supreme Court,” explained Atty. Gregorio Tanak Viterbo, Jr. , Ocampo’s legal counsel. “Furthermore, as often mentioned in articles coming out in the media claiming that UPLB filed this case against Greenpeace, we have yet to see proof that Dr. Taylo has indeed filed the complaint on behalf of the UPLB."

The field trial was run by the University of the Philippines Los Baños Foundation, Inc. (UPLBFI), the UP Mindanao Foundation Inc. (UPMFI) and The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) in partnership with the Maharashtra Hybrid Company (MAHYCO), which is partly owned by agrochemical giant Monsanto.

Ocampo says the public is being deliberately misled about opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) , to prevent scrutiny of the dangers it poses to  human health and the environment. “The way GMO proponents have tried to paint Greenpeace as anti-science or against Filipino scientists shows how weak their arguments really are. The real issue that they want to divert attention away from is why GMOs are allowed in this country,” Ocampo noted. “It may be true that GMO field trials are being conducted by Filipino scientists, but the point here is that these experiments are supported by agrochemical companies who own the patents to these products and would stand to gain when they get approval for commercial propagation,” Ocampo added.

“We call on the public to be very vigilant and seek the truth.  If GMOs are indeed good, then why is it that other countries - such as members of the European Union, India, Kenya and Brazil - have rejected growing GMOs?  Why do some countries have outright bans to prevent these products from entering their country?  GMOs will never be the solution to food security or nutrient deficiencies in developing countries.  The Philippine government should instead focus on providing resources to ecological farming practices to ensure sustainable agriculture,  in line with the National Organic Agriculture Act,” Ocampo stressed.

For more details, please contact:

Daniel Ocampo, Sustainable Agriculture and Genetic Engineering (SAGE) Campaigner, +63917-8110469, 

Vigie Benosa-Llorin, Media Campaigner, +63917-8228793,