Pandan Antique Philippines

Appeal to CNN, NBC and DATELINE

January 6, 2001



I am a Pediatrician from Paterson, NJ, and I am writing to you on behalf of the Pandan Anique Foundation, an organization formed by natives of Pandan Antique who are scattered all over the world.

During the past month, members of our organization have tried to save the island of Semirara in the province of Antique in the Philippines, from becoming the dumpsite of MAnila’s garbage.

At the present time there are barges carrying tons of stinking garbage in the shore of Semirara, just a few miles away from our hometown, Pandan, Antique, and Boracay Island. Only a temporary retraining order issued by a judge at the request of our organization, is holding the operators of the barges from unloading.

Antique is a poor province and the Philippine media is too preoccupied over President Estrada’s impeachment. The president’s advisers, Mr. Roberto Aventajado and Jejomar Binay are taking advantage of the media apathy. They are trying to solve Manila’s garbage problem by ordering the loading of garbages on barges to be dumped in Semirara. The written and videotaped protests by the people of Antique, have been brushed off and disregarded by the President’s men. Their decision was tailor made to suit a foreign company which paid them off. They even sent men to intimidate the natives of Semirara to prevent them from protesting. They forego the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) as required by the Environmental Protection Agency. When sought for reaction, Aventajado said that he did not include the ECC requirement because “it would take a least six months to secure one”.

The Pandan Antique Foundation have appealed to our senators and our news media to help us prevent this atrocity but the only help we got was the temporary restraining order by Judge Duremdes who is now in the process of being suspended by the President’s men. They also manipulated the media by telling them such lies as “the people in antique do not object to the dumpsite”.

Members of the Pandan antique Foundation have raised funds for our lawyers who are helping us in the legal technicalities of this matter. While we wait for the court trial, the garbage is roting and contaminating our ocean. The barges are leaking and the fish, seashells, sea weed, and all the marine life which are the main source of food for the people in antique are polluted and destroyed.

We are therefore appealing to an unbiased international media to expose the destruction of our province. We are hoping that the international exposure of this matter will stop the unlawful tactics of the corrupt President and his men. PLEASE HELP!!!

Thank you,

New Jersey, USA