Good day from the boondocks west of Manila!
A chilling, cryptic news about the murder of a forest ranger of the University of the Philippines in Los Baňos or UPLB struck a hard cord on the public mind recently. Elpidio Malinao, forest guard for the UPLB that owns and manages the entire Mt. Makiling, was gunned down while doing his sworn duty to help protect the most valued mountain.
Mt. Makiling used to be owned by the late general Miguel Malvar, one of the revolutionary leaders in the wars versus Spain and America. Malvar then donated the highland estate to the budding university over a century ago, as the colonizing Americans built the campus as the agriculture and forestry branch of the newly established University of the Philippines (then based in Padre Faura, Manila).
Measuring thousands of hectares in all, Makiling is home to a highly diversified flora & fauna, which renders it among the world’s prized natural environs. Unfortunately, illegal settlers built domiciles within it, a phenomenon of squatting that also took place in the 555-hectare U.P. Diliman campus (the flagship campus from 1949 onwards). And so the forest guards had to keep busy monitoring the valued mountain against illegal logging and smuggling of rare biological species.
Malinao is just a tiny fraction of a long list of environmental protectors who sacrificed their lives in the act of duty. And that list is getting longer by the month. It counts among them Prof. Leonard Co of UP Diliman and two (2) co-partner professors in UPLB, who were gunned down my army troops while they were gathering specimen for the Lopez-owned energy corporation.
A radio broadcaster, doctor by profession, was gunned down by an assassin in Palawan, just couples of weeks after the Co murder. Way before Co and fellow consultants were murdered, a priest in Mindanao went through the same path to death, his death being among the most celebrated in the island down south.
Those who died for Mother Nature in the Philippines are the true conservationists and guardians of the natural ecology, just to stress the point. There are pretender or quack environmentalists in the country who are photocopies of their equivalents in the West, are paid by sponsors from the Anglo-European oligarchy, and whose blabbermouth contentions for ecological balance come with sums of fat pays.
The quack environmentalists form a part of the rising global eco-fascist movement, who profit by demonizing humanity as the cause behind the deterioration of the natural ecology. Their burnt out verbiage echoes Prince Charles’ “humans are virus” madness, which now translates to classified foreign policies in the USA and EU to see to it that human population be brought down to a manageable 2 Billion by 2050.
PH’s eco-fascist could be emboldened to arm themselves, or even to secretly harbor a ‘call to arms’ mobilization in the coming months and years. While they prepare for the next rounds of conferences and churn out more rubbish press releases, the true nature guardians will die by the ‘muzzle of the gun’, notably the Indigenous Peoples or IPs, fisherfolks, and marginal planters.
[Philippines, 15 May 2011]
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