Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Satur is greenest senatorial candidate according to youth environmental group

Makabayan senatorial bet and Nacionalista Party guest candidate Satur Ocampo is the most environmental-friendly candidate, according to a recent survey conducted by the group League of Youth for the Environment (LYFE).

Ocampo topped the list of green senatoriables alongside the other Makabayan candidate Liza Maza.

A similar ranking for the senatoriables had Satur Ocampo, Liza Maza, Risa Hontiveros and Rizalito David in the green, while Kit Tatad, Ompong Plaza, Ralph Recto and Juan Ponce Enrile were in the mean list.

The LYFE survey questionnaire was sent by e-mail, fax and via social networking sites to the senate candidates. Background checks were also done on all candidates with available on-line records for their positions on 10 major national environmental issues.

The survey questions ranged from the re-commissioning of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, commercial logging, the Mining Act of 1995, coal-fired power plants, the Visiting Forces Agreement, toxic wastes, aerial spraying of pesticides on plantations, among others.

For every environmental friendly answer or record, the candidate was given one green bean point.

One mean bean (black) was also awarded for every environmentally destructive answer/record that they gave. The bean counts were added for the final tally to rank the candidates.

"I am grateful to LYFE for recognizing my work to protect the environment, national patrimony, but it should be said that it's not an option to not support issues affecting the environment. Twisted economic policies and corrupt politics impact very negatively on the environment and have highly destructive effects upon implementation," Ocampo said.

"We must counter these same policies at every turn knowing full well that the repercussions of letting them continue unopposed are devastating. Killing the environment is no different from killing ourselves and future generations of Filipinos. All efforts must be made to defend the environment and expose those who seek to profit at its expense. We will continue and strengthen this advocacy in the senate," he said.

In the meantime, Ocampo said that his environmental advocacy is also tightly connected to his human rights activism.

"As we fight for the environment, we must also defend those who work hard to protect it. Many have sacrificed their lives in the struggle against environmental destruction – against mining, against commercial dams and illegal logging. It is the memory of these activists we must also keep alive in our campaigns and remember that they gave their lives for the environment and for the people," he said. Among the environment activists killed under the Macapagal-Arroyo regime is Eliezer "Boy" Billanes who was killed on March 9, 2009. Billanes is the 19th anti-mining activist killed under Arroyo.