An Appeal for Support for Gloria Capitan – Coal-Free Bataan Movement, Philippines.

GloriaCapitan

Dear Friends,
We are from the Coal-Free Bataan Movement, writing to seek your earnest support for our slain leader, environmentalist and anti-coal activist, shot and killed by two still unidentified motorcycle-riding men in Brgy. Lucanin, Mariveles, Bataan in her home last Friday, July 1, 2016.

Gloria Capitan is 57 years old, mother of 5 children and a doting grandmother to 18 grandchildren. Her husband, Efren Capitan, who suffered a mild stroke in the past, is a barangay councilor at present.

Like a big sister (or ‘ate’), Ate Glo is a warm and kind-hearted woman to every colleague in the anti-coal movement. Her positive character and perseverance has brought hope in the struggle of the people of Bataan against the huge enemy that is coal. Her untimely demise will surely be felt in the anti-coal movement in the province.

“Titigil lang ako pag pikit na ang mata ko! Ano pa ba ang magagawa ko e patay na ako. Hindi ito para sa akin, kundi para sa mga apo ko, masakit ang loob ko kapag nakikita ko silang nagkakasakit”. [I will only stop when my eyes close! What else could I do when I am dead? This is not for my sake, but for my grandchildren, my heart breaks whenever I see them sick!]

Aware of the threats to her life, Ate Glo’s words best describe her struggle against the coal storage in her village in Brgy. Lucanin, Mariveles, Bataan.

The Worsening Coal Problem in Bataan

Bataan being a peninsula, covers 137,298 hectares and has a population of around 760 thousand and is home to two coal power plants and two open coal storage facilities: a 140 MW plant owned by Petron in the town of Limay and a 600MW plant owned by Ayala and Sithe Global in the town of Mariveles.

Two open coal storage facilities are in Mariveles. One is in Barangay Sisiman, which Seasia Nectar Port Services, a tandem of Filipino owned Seasia Logistics Philippines and London-based Nectar Group owns. The other is in Barangay Lucanin where Ate Glo resides, and is owned by Limay Bulk and Handling Terminals and Sea Front Shipyard Port Services Inc.

Aside from these facilities, expansion is well underway: 1,200 MW for GN Power Mariveles, 600 MW for San Miguel Global Power in Limay and another 1,200 MW for San Miguel in the town of Mariveles.

Many believe that the open coal storage is the main culprit in the heavy dust and severe pollution the community is suffering from, causing skin allergies and other diseases. Residents say that when pay loaders move coal so much dust and debris spread causing an alarming spike in upper respiratory tract infection cases. This has also caused destruction of the coastlines and sea bed.

Standing Up Against Dirty Energy

Ate Glo chose to speak up against open coal piling and the coal-fired power plant in their community in the face of overwhelming local government support for coal energy and a national policy favoring the same. Together with Coal-Free Bataan Movement, Ate Glo led her community in the campaign, soliciting signatures for a petition, filing cases and initiating other public actions directed against the open coal storage owned by Limay Bulk and Handling Terminals Inc. located inside the Sea Front Shipyard Port Services compound in Brgy. Lucanin, Mariveles, Bataan.

Gloria’s life, though short, left an indelible mark in advancing the welfare of the people of Bataan in the struggle against coal and has contributed in building a broader base of support at the community level.
In some trying times, some parties dangled tempting bribes to weaken her resolve, but this self-employed grandmother steadfastly resisted. Offers of bribes later gave way to subtle and overt threats against her and her companions and she proved her steely resolve.

It is in this light that we ask for your help during this difficult time.

Lend you/r organization’s voice in our quest for justice by sending letters of concern to the Philippine Government and related agencies (see below):

  1. Mr. Rodrigo Roa Duterte
    President
    Republic of the Philippines
    Malacanang Palace
    JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
    Manila 1005
    PHILIPPINES
    Fax: +63 2 736 1010
    Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80
  2. Mr. Jose Luis Martin Gascon
    Chairperson
    Commission on Human Rights
    SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
    U.P. Complex, Diliman
    Quezon City
    PHILIPPINES
    Fax: +63 2 929 0102
  3. Police Superintendent Ronald M. Dela Rosa
    Chief
    Philippine National Police (PNP)
    Camp General Rafael Crame,
    Quezon City
    PHILIPPINES
    Fax +632 7248763
    Email: [email protected]
  4. Mr. Vitaliano Aguirre II
    Secretary
    Department of Justice (DOJ)
    DOJ Bldg., Padre Faura
    1004 Manila
    PHILIPPINES
    Telefax: +632 523-9548

Please extend a hand for Gloria Capitan’s funeral and burial services, assistance to the family (material, services like psycho social intervention) and/or contribute to the seed fund for the Justice for Gloria Capitan Campaign.

We welcome whatever support you could extend to us. You may send your support through the peso account of Nuclear-Free Bataan Movement (NFBM), the secretariat for Coal-Free Bataan Movement.

Our account number is:

Bank: Bank of the Philippines Islands (BPI) – BPI Balanga JP Rizal Branch, Balanga City
Account Name: Nuclear-free Bataan Movement, Inc.
Account Number: 8083-0413-67

For further queries and details, please feel free to contact us at email address [email protected] or [email protected] mobile numbers +639478922831 or at the address stated above.
Thank you. Mabuhay kayo!

In Solidarity,
Derek Cabe
Coordinator
NFBM /Coal-Free Bataan Movement
KILUSAN-Bataan