Friday, November 14, 2008

Supporting the farmers in their struggle against aerial spraying

Yesterday, the last day of the BEC national congress, we listened to 3 leaders of the Mamayan Ayaw ng Aerial Spraying (MAAS) explain about their concerns. The participants decided to support them and approved this statement:

Statement of Support for the Mamamayan Ayaw ng Aerial Spraying (MAAS)
from the Participants of the 2nd CBCP-BEC National Congress

We, 325 participants of the 2nd Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Basic Ecclesial Communities (CBCP-BEC) national congress coming from 68 dioceses all over the Philippines express our support for the members of Mamamayan Ayaw ng Aerial Spraying (MAAS) who are presently encamped in front of the Court of Appeals in Cagayan de Oro.

The members of MAAS, most of whom are farmers living near the banana plantations in Calinan, Davao City, have been affected by the aerial spraying. On account of this, the local government of the City of Davao has come out with an ordinance banning aerial spraying in the city. The Regional Trial Court in Davao has upheld the legality of the ordinance.

We, therefore, express our solidarity with the MAAS and ask the Court of Appeals to expeditiously resolve the case in consideration of the health of people and safety of the environment. The preservation of the environment, life and health of the people take precedence over profits. This ruling will benefit not only the people of Davao City but also the various cities and provinces that have also passed a similar ordinance.

The Participants of the 2nd CBCP-BEC National Congress
November 13, 2008
Cagayan de Oro City

This morning, before going back to Davao, I dropped by at the camp site to greet and meet the MAAS group.

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