It was discouraging to see the dialogue between the Casiguran marchers and President Aquino turn sour at the end. A prominent lawyer advising the protesters suggested that the acrimonious end may have been caused by their unrealistically high expectations; many commentators faulted the President for being too process-oriented. All this is unfortunate, because there is a real need to review the very basis of the ambitious Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority, or Apeco—and for the review to have actual impact, the protesters and the President need to work with each other.
By Ma. Ceres P. Doyo
When the 120 farmers and members of the indigenous groups Dumagat and Agta marched 340 kilometers for three weeks from Casiguran, Aurora, to Manila to amplify their opposition to the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (Apeco), they were not wearing headbands and carrying placards that said: “We are open to negotiations” or “We have open minds.” When you oppose, you do not say, “Let’s meet halfway,” and hope for crumbs. You give it your mighty all until the other side and the leaders-that-be sit down to talk and settle—reasonably and justly.
By Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas S. J.
One hundred twenty residents of Casiguran—representing at least 2,983 families coming from different sectors such as the farmers, indigenous peoples and fisherfolk—are marching 370 kilometers from Casiguran, Aurora, to Malacañang Palace, in order to highlight their opposition, long voiced by the local communities of Casiguran, to the Aurora ecozone. They will arrive in Manila today, Dec. 10, 2012, and will be welcomed by students from UP, Ateneo and Miriam. Fr. Jett Villarin, SJ, president of Ateneo, will celebrate Mass for them at 7 p.m. at the Church of the Gesu, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City.