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Philippine News Digest 121

July 13, 2007 · 

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Contents:

  • Pool champ charged with sexual abuse
  • ‘Garbage project won’t keep environs safe’
  • 7 years after Payatas tragedy, Philippines still mired in trash

Pool champ charged with sexual abuse
By Margaux Ortiz
Inquirer
Last updated 02:13am (Mla time) 07/13/2007

MANILA, Philippines – World Pool champion Ronato “Ronnie” Alcano was charged yesterday before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court with the alleged sexual abuse of his 14-year-old daughter.

The case was filed after Assistant City Prosecutor Corazon Romano found probable cause to charge Alcano with rape and violation of Section 5 of Republic Act 7610 or the Anti-Child Abuse Law.

Romano recommended a total bail of P400,000 for both charges.

Alcano has denied the allegations. His lawyer Vic Rodriguez said they would file a motion for reconsideration.

Citing the complainant’s account of the alleged rape, Romano, in her three-page resolution, said no woman in her right mind would admit to having been violated unless she was telling the truth.

She said the complainant “would not concoct a tale repugnant to her virtue and undergo the rigors of public ridicule concerning her very honor.”

According to the government prosecutor, “the facts narrated by the complainant are convincing and credible and it will be absurd for a daughter (to) accuse her own father of the heinous crime of rape had she not been molested.”

In the complaint filed in March, Alcano’s daughter alleged the first two incidents of sexual assault happened on Nov. 25, 2006 when she stayed in the house where her father lived with his partner Gwendolyn Mondia.

She alleged Alcano touched her private parts and made lewd gestures in front of her.

The third incident, the girl said, occurred in the first week of December 2006. Alcano allegedly put his hand on her private part while they were lying on the bed with Gwendolyn.

Alcano has denied the charges, saying the girl was only after his money. He filed a perjury case against his daughter and her mother. But Romano found the complainant’s account of the incidents more credible.

Rodriguez, who said the case would surely affect his client’s performance, said they had 15 days to file the motion for reconsideration in court.

‘Garbage project won’t keep environs safe’
By Margaux Ortiz
Inquirer

Last updated 03:48am (Mla time) 07/13/2007

MANILA, Philippines – Quezon City’s garbage gas project is not enough to keep the environment safe.

The Bangon Kalikasan Movement (BKM), a non-government organization, said the city government’s plan to convert the Payatas garbage gas into energy would harvest only a minimum fraction of the methane and other toxic and carcinogenic substances from the dump.

Joey Papa, president of Bangon Kalikasan, which has members living in the dump, said experts have said most of the gases “would still escape to the atmosphere,” contributing to global warming or the rise in the world’s average temperatures.

“This is also dangerous to the health of the people in the surroundings,” according to Dr. Delia Patawaran of the health support mission organized by BKM for the Payatas Phase II residents last Tuesday, the seventh anniversary of the 2000 Payatas disaster that killed some 1,000 people.

Dr. Patawaran said the residents were vulnerable to the carcinogenic effects of emissions from the site.

According to BKM, the United States-based Grassroots Recycling Network (GRRN) said “most of the gas produced in landfills (or glorified dumps) escapes to the atmosphere even at sites that install gas collection systems.”

GRRN reportedly said almost half of the first wave of gas generation occurred before collection systems were installed.

In a 150-page report to the California Air Resources Board, another US expert, Peter Anderson, who was in the country early this year as a resource person at the General Assembly of Eco-Waste Coalition, debunked the much-touted efficiency of the biogas emission reduction technology.

Anderson said there was little data on the amount of escaped gas emissions from landfills.

Papa asked Mayor Feliciano Belmonte Jr. to consider these views and urged the city government to close Payatas and not to open another landfill.

7 years after Payatas tragedy, Philippines still mired in trash
Pinoy Press
Posted By caloy On July 9, 2007

MANILA — Seven years after the tragic Payatas landfill landslide, the Philippines remains mired in a worsening garbage and waste mismanagement crisis that will have a significant impact on community health and well-being, environmental activist group Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) said today.

On July 10, 2000, tragedy literally befell a slum community in Payatas, Quezon City when a hill of garbage overlooking the area caved in, killing 218 people and leaving 300 families homeless.

“The waste crisis is worsening at a rapid rate. The national government has so far failed to provide and implement a wide-reaching and viable waste management program which can efficiently process and treat around 13 billion kilos of solid waste generated annually by around 89 million Filipinos,” Kalikasan PNE National Coordinator Clemente Bautista Jr. said.

Bautista stressed that “the Arroyo administration’s failure to stem the waste management crisis in the urban and rural areas was putting the health of millions of communities at risk”.

“In Metro Manila alone, 85 percent of the 6,169 tons of garbage generated daily end up in waterways, such as creeks and esteros close to both residential and commercial areas, making these a breeding ground for diseases and floods induced by clogged waterways,” Bautista said.

“In rural areas, the proliferation of garbage dumpsites has also taken over forest areas, watersheds, and even coastal zones, spreading leachate to otherwise productive soil and water resources and emitting toxic gases into the air,” Bautista said.

Bautista deplored the national government’s lack of political will to assess and address the problem.

“Our government does not seem to have learned a thing from the Payatas tragedy in 2000,” he said.

“Instead of working to solve the national waste problem and taking mitigating measures to protect the community’s health, the Arroyo administration is shamefully geared towards importing more hazardous foreign waste under bilateral agreements such as the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) and promoting a policy of plunder where foreign mining corporations can extract our mineral reserves and irresponsibly leave behind their waste to their heart’s content,” he said.

“The Philippine and Japanese governments deny that JPEPA will bring in more foreign waste. But this is contradicted by the Philippine’s record of foreign waste, which importation only shows that our country is increasingly being used as an alternative dumpsite for developed nations such as Japan and the United States. Data from the National Statistics Office showed that in 2001 alone, the Philippines imported a total amount of foreign waste worth $7,440,264. $2,114,892. Thirty-eight-point-four (38.4) percent of these foreign wastes came from Japan,” Bautista noted.

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