Monday, June 30, 2014

Just An Old Video Of Congressman Aliping Saying He's Against The Cutting Of Trees

A couple of years ago, the biggest talk of the town in Baguio City was SM's cutting and earthballing of trees within its property in Luneta Hill. Fortunately, the efforts of concerned citizens and various groups were able to successfully prevent the further cutting of the trees.

Today, Baguio City has found itself in the middle of yet another environmental case which is much, much worse than its predecessor. This time, however, the one implicated in causing the destruction is not a private entity like SM. This time, it's no other than the city's top official, Congressman Nicasio Aliping Jr. himself. The solon is allegedly behind the cutting of trees, burning of trees, and destructive earth excavations in Mt. Sto. Tomas in Tuba, Benguet. Hundreds of trees are now dead. Three springs and a dam that serve as water sources for Baguio City and Tuba were damaged. And the earth has been exposed to soil erosion which can cause further damage to the watershed and forest reserve.

The irony in this is the fact that a few years back when the SM issue was brewing, Aliping (who was then a Baguio City councilor) was against the cutting and earthballing of trees in Luneta Hill. In the video below, Aliping personally claims that he's "against the cutting of trees". So what happened to Aliping's former stance? Did he change his mind? Is he now a pro instead of an anti? One thing is for sure, Aliping promised during his campaign last year that he will protect and preserve the environment. In his own words, he promised "pagbabagong rumerespeto sa kalikasan at kapaligiran". But what's been done in Mt. Sto. Tomas is the complete opposite of respect.
In the instance that you can't see the video above, here's a transcript: "To our friends who are opposing the cutting of trees at the Luneta Hill as an expansion. Personally, I am against the cutting of trees. Secondly, this rally that took place a while back is actually the expression of the people's sentiments against the cutting and earthballing of trees in that site. 

Now it would be unfair for the Sm management to just immediately earthball in as much as the council recommended, the committee recommended the earthballing to be undertaken by a monitoring group so we have first to compose the monitoring group. And more importantly, there is now the temporary environmental protection order issued by the court so that has to be respected. And as far as I'm concerned, personally, I am against the cutting of trees."

So, there you go.