Church backs dam protests in Luzon

 

Church backs dam protests in Luzon

Author: 

George Conger

The Prime Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the Philippines, the Most Rev. Renato Abibico, Bishop of Northern Luzon, has written to President Benigno Aquino urging government intervention in a dispute between villagers and an energy company accused of despoiling their land. In a statement made public on 3 Oct 2014, Bishop Abibico stated Hedcor, Inc. -- a hydropower company that operates 21 power plants -- had unlawfully secured permission to build a hydroelectric dam on the Chico River in Luzon. The bishop told the Manila Times the company had acted in a “flawed, deceitful and fraudulent” in gaining government approval for the project. It had colluded with a government agency charged with protecting the rights of indigenous tribesman by creating a “non-existent” tribe from which it received approval to build the dam.  Local villagers had petitioned the government to cancel the project, the bishop said, “because of disrespect of the environmental laws and destruction of the  environment.”

 
Categories: