MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Save Our Seas (SOS) Alliance bares plan to file raps at the United Nations Human Rights Council

Published by MAC on 2006-08-26

Save Our Seas (SOS) Alliance bares plan to file raps at the United Nations Human Rights Council

SAVE OUR SEAS, save our lives (SOS) Press Release

26th August 2006

Save Our Seas, Save Our Lives (SOS), an alliance of people's organizations, academic institutions, non-government organizations, concerned public officials and national personalities in the Philippines, is sending a communiqué to the United Nations Human Rights Council yesterday expressing its intent to file a case against the Arroyo Administration, Petron Corporation and Sunshine Maritime Development Corporation for their roles in the biggest oil spill in the Philippines and Asia.

"SOS, through our member organizations in Guimaras and Iloilo, like PAMALAKAYA, and the Madia-as Ecological Movement is now in the stage of data gathering and documenting the situation to support the case to be filed at the UNHRC, " Andy Salatan a Chemistry professor in UP Diliman and spokesperson of AGHAM said.

"We are doing this because we are alarmed by the slow and inadequate response the national government has been giving to the environmental catastrophe," Frances Quimpo, speaking for Kalikasan-People's Network for the Environment and SOS explained. "The Arroyo Administration has long lost its credibility; but we badly need to get to the bottom of this disaster! We find it suspect that a puny shipping corporation by the name of Sunshine Maritime has been conveniently taking all the flak and covering up for the possible culpability of MARINA, the Arroyo government and Petron Corporation. Meanwhile, they are letting our precious marine life, our fish and prawn industries, and tourism in Western Visayas perish!, " added Quimpo.

"At the rate things are going here, we might be ending up with a whitewash and token gestures for relief and clean up, so much like the past disasters we had. SOS calls on all concerned Ilonggos and Filipinos to continue helping in the relief work and clean up drive but keeping a close watch on how this disaster will unfold!," warned Andy Salatan.

"We hope the news about the release of the 300 Million Dollar Fund is true because the oil spill victims are growing in numbers and have been agonizing by the day! We are warning the international agency to ensure utmost transparency in the disbursement, " added Salatan.

Save Our Seas, Save Our Lives (SOS) was first formed on August 11 in Iloilo City. It identified three major tasks for the alliance – coordinate relief generation and distribution efforts, monitor economic and environmental rehabilitation, as well as sustain quest for justice for crimes on the environment and the people. Drop-in centers for Guimaras Relief Support are at CDRC, 72 Times St West Triangle, Quezon City or at CEC, 9209099##

Reference: Frances Quimpo
9209099

c/o KALIKASAN-PEOPLE'S NETWORK FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
26 Matulungin St.
Bgy. Central
Quezon City,
Philippines 1100

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