Sympathies with the people of Baybay and Abuyog over landslide tragedy
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) extends its deepest sympathies to the people of Baybay City and Abuyog towns in Leyte province after several scores of people in farming and coastal communities were killed in mudslides triggered by non-stop rainfall brought by typhoon Agaton over the past week. The calamity reminds us of the similar tragedy in 2006 when thousands were killed in landslides in St. Bernard town in Southern Leyte.
These tragedies are a result of the widespread destruction of the environment caused by decades of logging and forest clearing for commercial plantations. Communities in mountains, valleys and plains have been made vulnerable to landslides and flooding by deforestation and oversiltation of rivers. Across the country, people live constantly in precarious situations.
In the face of gross state of the environment in the Philippines, the present reactionary government and all those in the past have declared the policy of protecting the environment. However, beyond these lip service declarations and showcase and fake “reforestation” projects, no serious effort has actually been carried out to stop the ravaging of the mountains, forests and rivers. On the contrary, in connivance with government bureaucrats, operations of mining companies, plantations, ecotourism, energy and infrastructure projects continue to expand and cause widespread destruction of the environment and sources of the people’s livelihood, and the dislocation of thousands from their homes and communities.
We are keenly aware how the tragedies in Baybay and Abuyog are not the first, and will certainly not be the last. We call on the broad masses of the peasants, national minorities, workers and other toiling people, to unite, defend the environment and their livelihood, and demand an end to destructive commercial and plunderous operations of big capitalists.
Decisive steps to protect the environment can only be carried out by a people driven by the desire to free the country from imperialist oppression and the plunder of the country’s resources by foreign capitalists and their partners among the local big bourgeoisie and bureaucrat capitalists.
The revolutionary forces will continue to enforce the policy of the people’s democratic government prohibiting large scale commercial logging and plunderous mining operations. It aims to achieve greater successes in enforcing this policy as we look forward to preserving the country’s resources for the future use of the people and their truly democratic government.