Faced with the livelihood, environmental, and health-related dangers posed by an open coal stockpile in Barangay Lucanin, Mariveles, Bataan, the Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Mamamayan ng Lucanin (SNML) mounted a campaign against Limay Bulk Handling Terminal Inc. At the helm of the campaign was Ka Gloria Capitan: a 57-year-old grandmother, environmental activist, and President of the SNML. With the children of her community in mind, she passionately fought for the human right to a healthy environment.
SNML has already filed a petition to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the local government and the CHR regarding the issue. They have also filed a complaint against the local government, who now has a case with the Ombudsman.
After months of sacrifice, devoting her time to the grueling struggle against the open coal stockpiles, the evening of July 1, 2016 saw the death of Gloria Capitan – a mere few hours after the inauguration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Shot by an unidentified man and died en route to a hospital, she is the first non-drug-related victim of extra judicial killing (EJK) under President Duterte’s administration.
The Sentro ng Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO) strongly condemns the atrocious death of Gloria Capitan. Her death is a reflection of the blatant disregard for human rights that has plagued the country, the culture of death and reprisal by those who have power. SENTRO calls for a swift and thorough investigation on the incident, and to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators and their masterminds.
SENTRO holds the Local Government Officials and Units of Barangay Lucanin, of Mariveles, and of Bataan accountable for allowing the operation of an open coal stockpile near people’s communities, contributing to the degradation of the environment and of people’s health.
SENTRO also holds accountable the Limay Bulk Handling Terminal Inc. and Seafront Shipyard and Port Terminal Services, which apparently owns the former, for continuing to pursue profits at the expense of people’s health, given documentation of an increase in the number of residents of Barangay Lucanin afflicted with skin diseases and upper respiratory ailments.
SENTRO calls on President Duterte to stop the coal mining operations, the building of coal power plants, and other related activities in order to protect the rights and welfare of people and environment. Furthermore, SENTRO calls on the President, whose statements encouraging “killings”, to halt the horrendous wave of EJKs.
Gloria Capitan’s and her organizations’ bravery in the face of tremendous adversity is a feat worth applauding. Her death, however, is a threat to human rights defenders in this country.
JUSTICE FOR GLORIA CAPITAN!
FIGHT AGAINST EXTRA-JUDICIAL KILLINGS!
FIGHT AGAINST COAL!
FIGHT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS!