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Posts Tagged ‘Aseza’

By Nikko Dizon
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 20:19:00 01/18/2011

Filed Under: Justice & Rights, Regional authorities, Protest,Heavy construction, Conflicts (general), Congress, People

MANILA, Philippines—Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said her department would look into allegations of violations committed in the construction of the Aurora Pacific Economic and Freeport Zone (Apeco), describing testimony and evidence presented to her as apparently “extensive and complex.”

A group of farmers, fishermen, Dinagat tribe leaders and their supporters asked De Lima on Monday to help them press a case against Apeco, a pet project of Senator Edgardo Angara which cost the government at least P1 billion to build.

The group said Apeco violated various laws, including the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program and Extension and Reform (Carper), Fisheries Code, Indigenous People’s Rights Acts, Government Auditing Code and the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

(more…)

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By Jing Castañeda, ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines – International architect Jun Palafox, running priest Fr. Robert Reyes, farmers, fisherfolk, indigenous peoples, priests, and local leaders of Aurora have met with Justice Sec. Leila de Lima to submit their affidavits and other documents to prove that that there’s basis to file criminal charges against Senator Eduardo Angara, Rep. Sonny Angara, Aurora Governor Bellaflor Angara-Castillo, and Aurora Pacific Ecozone and Freeport (APECO) officials.

They claimed that there is a conflict of interest since the congressman and the governor are members of the APECO Board of Directors, while the senator was among those who penned the APECO law.

In their affidavits and other documents, the group also said it is not environmentally safe to build the APECO in a chosen location.
They added that the law creating the APECO was passed without the approval and consultation with the people of Casiguran, Aurora, which is allegedly a violation of the Local Government Code and the APECO Law itself.

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by Benjamin B. Pulta

01/18/2011

The Department of Justice has vowed to look into the complaints of farmers, fisherfolk and indigenous peoples belonging to the Dumagat tribe and local leaders of Aurora province involving the Aurora Pacific Ecozone and Freeport (APECO), where members of the Angara family sit as board members.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima yesterday met with an Aurora-based non-government and people’s organization calling itself the Pinag-isang Lakas ng Casiguran (Piglas-CA), that has made allegations of widespread corruption and other violations allegedly committed by Apeco.

The group accused Apeco of violations of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program and Extension and Reform (Carper) law, Fisheries Code, Indigenous Peoples Right Act (IPRA), Government Auditing Code and Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act as grounds for the plan to file the complaints. (more…)

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by SOPHIA M. DEDACE, GMANews.TV

01/17/2011 | 03:34 PM
(Updated 5:04 p.m.) Residents and indigenous peoples in Aurora province asked the Department of Justice on Monday to look into the alleged irregularities surrounding the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone (APECO), where members of the Angara family sit as board members. 

The locals of Casiguran town, accompanied by prominent Architect Felino Palafox Jr., accused the Angaras of wasting public funds in the creation of the 12,00-hectare economic zone in their home province.

Sen. Edgardo Angara and his son, Aurora Rep. Jun Edgardo “Sonny” Angara co-sponsored Republic Act No. 10083, the law that created APECO. The younger Angara and Aurora Gov. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo, the senator’s sister, sit on the economic zone’s Board.

Palafox, who was initially tapped to create the master plan for APECO, alleged that the Angaras violated Presidential Decree 1445 in failing to submit APECO funds to scrutiny by the Commission on Audit.

Palafox added that the Angaras pushed through with constructing the APECO infrastructure even without passing the necessary studies.

“They had no environmental impact study, land conversion study, feasibility study, seaport study, and airport study,” he said at a news briefing. (more…)

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Ano ba ang ASEZA?
– Aurora Special Economic Zone Act of 2007 o RA 9490
– Isang enklabo o eksklusibong lugar para sa negosyong pang eksport at para sa mga Trans National Corporation (TNCs) at lokal na mayayamang kapitalista.
– Sumasakop sa limang daang (500) ektarya na matatagpuan sa Bgy. Esteves, Dibet at Dibacong sa bayan ng Casiguran
– Sa kasalukuyan ay may nakahaing amyenda para baguhin ang pangalan (Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Free Port) at palawakin pa na umaabot sa 13,852 ektarya na sumasakop sa mga Barangay tulad ng Dibet, Esteves, Dibacong (1,000 ektarya) at Cozo, San Ildefonso, Culat at Lual (12,852 ektarya)

Anu-ano ang mga proyektong itatayo dito?
– Para mahikayat ang dayuhang mamumuhunan, sa unang yugto ay itatayo ang international airport, daungan ng malalaking cargo vessels (barko), club house, hotel, beach resorts at entrance plaza.
– Itatayo din ang mga pabrikang pang-eksport, marine culture park, at iba pa. Gagamitin ang P800 milyong buwis ng mamamayan para sa proyektong ito.

Bakit tumututol ang mamamayan sa ASEZA/APEZA?
– Mawawalan ng lupa ang mga lihitimong nagmamay-ari ng lupa (titulado, deklarado) at mga magsasakang matagal nang naglilinang nito. Gayundin ang mga katutubong mamamayan na matiwasay na namumuhay sa mga pamayanan sa baybay dagat.
– Manganganib ang kasiguruhan sa pagkain sapagkat ang mga sinakop na lugar ay prime agrikultural land at tinuturing na rice granary ng Northern Aurora at masisira ang mga saganang pangisdaan na nagsusuplay maging sa karatig lalawigan.
– Mawawalan ng kasiguruhan sa paninirahan dahil sa malawakang dislokasyon.
– Ang mga tinaguriang “informal families” na ililipat sa relocation ay mga taal na taga barangay mismo.
– Ang target na relocation site para sa 450 kabahayan na may kabuuang 13.93 ektarya sa Reserba ay kasalukuyang binubungkal, pinagyayaman at pinaninirahan din ng mga pamilyang magsasaka noon pang 1960s.
– Walang isinasagawang anumang konsultasyon sa mamamayang maaapektuhan ng proyekto bago at matapos maisabatas ang ASEZA.
– Para sa karaniwang magsasaka, mangingisda at katutubo, ang lupa at dagat ay buhay.
– Ang ipinapangako at ipinapanagalandang trabaho ay panandalian lamang at hindi para sa karamihang mamamamayan.
– Naniniwala kami na ang pagpapaunlad ng agrikultura sa pamamagintan ng pamamamhagi ng lupa at suportang serbisyo para sa magsasaka ang susi para maibsan ang kahirapan at hindi ang pagsandig sa mga dayuhang inbestor at mayayamang negosyante.

Kahilingan ng mamamamayan:
-Ipamahagi ang lupang reserbasyon sa mga lihitimong magsasakang nagbubungkal nito.
– Ipatupad ang tunay na reporma sa lupa.
– Igalang at protektahan ang lupain at karagatang ninuno at lupang sakahan.
-Kasiguruhan sa pagkain at paninirahan ng mamamayan.

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"Employees of the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport (Apeco) have been blamed for the destruction of 10 hectares of mangroves."

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PRESS RELEASE
May 2010

“If they take away our land, they take away our livelihood,” they said.

Task Force Laban sa ASEZA, a multisectoral group comprised of farmers, fishers and indigenous peoples in Casiguran, Aurora, are continuing their protest against the lack of public consultations prior to the passage of RA 10083 or the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Act.

“Its implementation violates the private ownership of the lands under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law and Indigenous Peoples Reform Act,” according to Aison Garcia of the legal resource NGO, Saligan. The Aurora ecozone project also breaches a moratorium signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo herself against the conversion of irrigated lands to non-agricultural uses.

Casiguran, where Aurora’s food basket is located, relies primarily on agriculture and fishing for livelihood.
The implementation of RA 9490 or the Aurora Special Economic Zone Act (ASEZA) and its imminent expansion through RA 10083 will affect more than 130 families of Barangays Esteves, Binauan, Dibet, Culat, Cozo, and San Ildefonso.

The Senate, prior to the joint approval of the bill by Senator Edgardo Angara and Rep. Sonny Angara in Congress, received a letter in 2009 from the Multisectoral Action Group of Aurora citing their contentions. The ecozone is endorsed by Aurora Governor Bellaflor Angara-Castillo, among the members of the ASEZA board. Joseph Delano-Bernardo, former ambassador to Spain, resigned as chairman in 2009.

Workers of Kanlaon, the developer that took over the project from Palafox Associates, have also reportedly staged a two-day work stoppage. They complained about not receiving wages for two months and instead being given compensation for only one- to two-weeks work.

Ecozones in the Philippines and parts of Asia have been marred by similar allegations of displacement of local communities and unjust labor practices by locators, and not drawing the expected number of foreign investments to boost employment and industry.

For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Fr. Edwin Gariguez

CBCP-NASSA ( Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines – National Secretariat for Social Action-Justice and Peace )

Manila, Intramuros

Tel no. 09228348248

 

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