Pandan Antique Philippines
NO TO SEMIRARA DUMPSITE!

Appeal to the Municipal Mayor of Caluya

CANDARI AND ASSOCIATES LAW OFFICE
Bacolod City, Philippines

December 11, 2000

The Honorable Municipal Mayor
Caluya, Antique

Dear Mrs. Mayor:

I am a native of Pandan, Antique. I have been residing and practicing as a lawyer in Bacolod City, Philippines, since l982. When I finished high school in Pandan Bay Institute in l963, I left my hometown to continue my studies and through sheer determination and hard work, I became a lawyer in l982.

Every now and then, I take my vacation in Pandan, Antique, usually because a relative dies, or to attend our town fiesta in April. Every time I go back to my hometown, I get to appreciate once again the town’s natural beauty‚Ķits virgin forest, luscious vegetation, the crystal-clear water of its beaches, its abundant marine life. I plan to spend most of my retirement days in my hometown.

Recently, an open letter was disseminated by my townmates who are spread all over the world. It was entitled: “WE OPPOSE THE PLANNED SEMIRARA DUMPSITE FOR MANILA’S GARBAGE.” (I’m attaching a copy for your ready reference.) From this article, I realized that the useful gifts of nature to the people of Pandan and the neighboring towns are being threatened because the daily volume of approximately 2,000 metric tons of garbage will be thrown and stored at SEMIRARA Island adjoining Pandan Bay. I also found out that at least six (6) proposed townsites objected to this project and it was onlyin Semirara, a “remote area,” that its local government placed no objection and allegedly offered its sites because there is that giant pit left opened by Semirara Coal Corporation suitable for this purpose. JUST TO THINK THAT OUR AREA IS MADE INTO A GARBAGE DUMPING SITE OF METRO MANILA IS PSYCHOLOGICALLY REVOLTING AND DAMAGING!

No amount of explanation could ever convince me as to how a famous international garbage contractor will also institute safety measures to avoid the disaster of spillage while transporting the garbage. Or how it can prevent the pollution that is caused by human recklessness in its storage facility. The foreign contractor who benefited from this multi-million-dollar government transaction may decide to disappear when this catastrophe happens, and the natives, the poor people, and my townmates will be left to suffer and die from the tragic consequences.

Article III, Section l of our l987 Constitution states: “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property wtihout due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.”

When the unthinkable happens that our seashores become contaminated and our environs become polluted, thus depriving our fishermen their livelihood, or killing the people due to diseases caused by pollution, then these sinister and irresponsible acts that were apparently consummated without consulting and respecting the rights of our people affected, constitutes an actionable wrong that could be raised in the proper forum in the future.

I believe that everything is not yet too late, and I respectfully and earnestly appeal to you, Honorable Mayor, to do everything in your power not to allow the waste and toxins of Metro Manila to be thrown in Semirara. The waste will not only affect Semirara but also our own environment in Pandan, Antique, and other neighboring towns. Please say NO to the Semirara dumpsite plan.

Thank you and more power to you.

Very truly yours,

(SGD.) ATTY. BENJAMIN S. CANDARI, Jr.
(Native of Pandan, Antique)

ENCLOSED: A/S

NO TO SEMIRARA DUMPSITE!