Warm Greetings of Peace. On behalf of the Philippine Misereor Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI) we commend the Marinduque Council for Environmental Concerns (MACEC) on its 25th Anniversary, this 27th of July 2021.
For the last 25 years, MACEC has been at the forefront of the struggle for environmental justice and upholding the rights and dignity of the plaintiffs, families and relatives, all Marinduqueños and all victims of the Placer Dome-Marcopper mining tragedy on March 24, 1996. The story of MACEC is a classic example of a locally-organized, people-environment-faith leaning organization that continues to hold Placer Dome/Marcopper Mining Corporation – a multinational giant accountable for its crime to the people of Marinduque and the environment.
The formation of MACEC was indeed the result of a mining tragedy that caused destruction and death to lives and livelihood of people in the community who are now plaintiffs to an on-going legal struggle. It was also an occasion that gave birth to and galvanized local environmental defenders in Marinduque hand in hand with the environmental and human rights groups at the national and international level.
Through the years, MACEC was one of the many local organizations that truly surpassed the test of time, overcoming set-backs, and celebrating victories. It adapted to the needs of every situation and drew lessons from it. It has become among many model organizations that evolved into a strong and resilient organization to protect its people and the environment. Recently it spearheaded the implementation of a community-based disaster resiliency and sustainable agricultural enterprises, grounded not only by its anti-mining conviction, but the recognition of the core-principles of intergenerational responsibility to the environment. They started to organize and strengthen the youth through the MACEC Youth for Environmental Concerns – a truly commendable initiative that we in PMPI and the PMPI Sites of Struggle Community-partners hope to achieve as well.
The road paving the way for people to embrace the Rights of Nature, as echoed by Laudato Si is our next strategic path. The need to both hear the cry of the poor and cry of mother earth and respond to it in an integrated manner is a call towards an ecological conversion. We need to understand that nature is not just an object for exploitation, but as a living thing possessing innate value and dignity. Thus, nature’s rights are as important as human rights. Embracing the rights of nature perspective will further enhance the well-being of all God’s creation.
On the occasion of your 25 years of service to Marinduqueños, and a model-organization for other peoples’ organizations across the Philippines, we celebrate with you and continue to pledge our support to MACEC.