E-libel filed by HMC
THE CITY PROSECUTORS of Taguig City passed a resolution recommending that a civil society organization working for the protection of small islands against large-scale mining be indicted for Internet Libel or e-libel.
The charges against Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. was filed by Hintatuan Mining Company for reporting the latter's operation in Manicani Island, part of Guiuan town in the Province of Eastern Samar.
Deputy City Prosecutor Patrick Noel De Dios submitted the resolution to Taguig Prosecutors’ Office, recommending PMPI National Coordinator Yoly Esguerra and three other staff be held responsible. This was approved by City Prosecutor Archimedes Manabat. The complaint was filed last year.
The e-libel complaint stemmed from a press release of PMPI reporting a June 2015 incident, where a barge hired by the mining company to carry its equipment ran over and destroyed small fishing boats barricading the island. Fisherfolks of Manicani island formed a barricade to keep the barge from docking.
While the complaint was recommended to be heard in court, only one of the three counts of Cyber Libel raised by HMC will become the basis for the case.
“The prosecutors consider as libelous the PMPI report regarding the destruction of three fishing boats by the mining company’s barge,” Atty. Macki Maderazo, the PMPI 4’s legal counsel, explained.
He added that they will challenge the part of the resolution that says a mining company cannot be considered a public figure because Philippine jurisprudence and several expert legal opinions have repeatedly asserted that corporations may also fall under the public figure category.
“Just like what we said on our counter-affidavit, we believe that the complaint of the HMC is a form of SLAPP [strategic legal action against public participation] and plain harassment for our organization that is instrumental why HMC’s operations in Manicani Island is suspended until now. It is sad that the prosecutors failed to see that but the fight is not over,” Esguerra said.
HMC’s operations in the island of Manicani have been suspended since 2002 upon the request of the Diocese of Borongan in behalf of Manicani residents, due to the mining operations adverse impact on the environment.
“Acknowledging how powerful and connected the complainants are, we have prepared for the worst. We will not be shocked if a warrant against us will soon be issued and we are ready. In fact, we are elated with the number of lawyers and organizations that have signified their intent to help us in our case,” Esguerra said.
The case filed also named Deputy Coordinator Candy Hidalgo and PMPI's Anti-Mining Campaign team composed of Primo Morillo and Edel Garingan.
Since the early 2000s, PMPI and the Diocese of Borongan have been helping the resistance put up by islanders led by the Protect Manicani Island Society, Inc. (PROMISI) – formerly the Save Manicani Movement (SAMAMO).
In time for the opening of the "EU Roadmap to Business and Human Rights Conference" on May 11, the International Federation for Human Rights or FIDH announced the online publication of an updated version of its guide on accountability and redress mechanisms for corporate-related human rights abuses.
With this guide, FIDH seeks to provide a practical tool for victims and NGOs to seek justice and obtain reparations for human rights abuses involving multinational corporations. To do so, the guide explores the different avenues for redress available to victims, including judicial and non-judicial recourse mechanisms.
FIDH’s Corporate Accountability Guide is now a reference. Making use of the mechanisms outlined in this guide is a way to help rendering them more effective and towards improving victims' access to effective remedies.
The 600-plus page Guide explores the different avenues available to victims, including judicial and non-judicial recourse mechanisms. It focuses primarily on violations committed in third countries by or with the support of a transnational corporation, its subsidiaries or its commercial partners.
In Bukidnon, a young girl shows her passion towards agriculture at a very young age. Eleven-year old Diding is a rice breeder, when most girls her age are doing other things than being an agriculturist.
At the age of 6, Lourdes Geraldo or Diding has successfully bred her own rice line making her the youngest rice breeder in the Philippines, and probably in the whole world.
As she turns 11, she is now producing her rice lines with her father and siblings in their 4-hectare DIFS (diversified) farm in Sitio Tomigbong, San Luis in Malitbog town.
Walking around their sloping and misty farm early in the morning, one can get the feeling of being at the vineyard scenes of the academy award-wining movie “walk in the clouds.” It’s worth reflecting to observe how the plants and the diversity of life rhymes in full harmony with nature.
Diding’s 4 rice lines are proven adaptive to their local climatic condition which made their farm more resilient to the changes in the weather patterns happening nowadays. But aside from rice breeding, Diding is also growing vegetables, root crops and flowering plants because she knows how useful it is to have a diverse genetic resources.
But how did this happen?
Diding was taught on rice breeding by her father, Mr. Eugenio “Eunie” Geraldo, one of the steadfast farmer leaders of MASIPAG Mindanao responsible for the expansions of organic agriculture in the far-flung communities in Northern Mindanao which are left behind by most government extension workers. Eunie is very passionate in educating people and in empowering his fellow farmers.
Eunie addressed one of the challenges faced by the organic farmers – passing on their knowledge to their children. So he taught Diding at her young age together with his children to ensure that his knowledge, practices and principles will live on to the generations to come.
Five years before he becomes a senior citizen, Eunie has a smile on his face and full of hope in his eyes that his children will sustain and broaden what he started: a sign of fulfilment that not all farmers enjoyed.
Diding brings a lot of hope not only to her family, but also to the entire Filipino farmers.
WE, a 300-organization strong network of FAITH-BASED INSTITUTIONS, HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATES, CSO AND GRASS ROOT ACTIVISTS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT and SAFE, CAPACITATED, and SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES are encouraging all our voters to exercise their right, use their power to vote for leaders who have political will, moral courage, and proven track record to put forth GENUINE DEVELOPMENT.
WE need serious leaders who will:
“Let us elect leaders who genuinely care for the Environment, Just and Lasting Peace, Human Rights, and Good Governance.”
The Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. launched its electoral campaign that aims to aid voters in choosing their leaders based on their stand on six national issues and concerns the country is currently facing. The Power of Purple or PoP is the network’s effort to demonstrate plainly and visually what the aspirants are bringing with them when they get elected into a position, come May 9 this year.
“We may not know what they will really do when they get elected, but this campaign presents evidence of what they have done in the past, what they are presently doing, and what they are promising to bring as their priorities,” Yoly Esguerra, PMPI’s national coordinator said.
PoP will serve as a hub for information on candidates in the coming 2016 Elections, which will especially showcase the stand of the future leaders on issues that are close to PMPI's advocacies. The POWER OF PURPLE is PMPI's initiative to promote a voting public that is well informed and equipped in making intelligent decision this coming 2016 national elections.
AMOR J. TAN SINGCO | Communications and Information Officer
Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc.
Unit 204 Pacific Century Tower, 1472-1476 Quezon Avenue,
Barangay South Triangle, Quezon City
T: (02) 961.5956