February 11, 2016
Dear Advocates of Mother Earth:
Laudato Si, O Mi Signore, for Mother Earth!
Empowered by the recently concluded Eucharistic Congress, Catholics believe that “Eucharist enables us to effectively respond to the cry of the poor, the cry of the earth, and the cry of Jesus Christ.”
Please find enclosed the statement of the Bishop of the Prelature of Infanta, Bp Bernardino Cortez, asking the government “to stop the bidding and construction of the Kaliwa Dam until the following issues have been satisfactorily addressed…”
Such a construction will displace the Dumagats, threaten the lives of more than 100,000 people living downstream in the towns of Infanta, General Nakar and Real – all in Quezon. Since Kaliwa dam involves taxpayers money, it is a concern for all Filipinos. Moreover, since it will also worsen global warming, it has local, national and global consequences.
Save Sierra Madre Network Alliance has been coordinating the initiatives of indigenous people, peoples’ organizations, Church institutions and environmental groups on the issues above. On February 19, 2016 we will be filing the Writ of Kalikasan to get a restraining order from the Supreme Court to stop the bidding and the construction of the Kaliwa dam and the other centennial dams.
We are requesting that you support us in our mainstream and social media campaign and also encourage people that you are linked with to sign the other statement enclosed. There is an English and Tagalog version. Institutions can choose whatever version is best for them. They can send us the signed document anytime before May 2016 but whatever we receive before February 19 will already be included in the filing of the Writ of Kalikasan as support documents. We have a usb containing the 13-minute film “Dam the Kaliwa Dam” and also a short but very enlightening international video regarding dams. In case you are interested please let us know and we can send you a copy.
Furthermore, to deepen the knowledge and commitment of people against the centennial dams, SSMNA is still very much open to visit institutions – schools, parishes, etc. Our presentation is light and entertaining (drama, film, dialogues, some inputs) yet touching the core of one’s commitment thus leading to “ecological conversion.”
With Mary who “grieves for the sufferings of the crucified poor and for the creatures of this world laid waste by human power” (Laudato Si #241) we give God our all.(Ibid., 243).
Thanking God for being with us everyday,
Fr. Pete Montallana – CP: 09175348182 –