President Benigno Aquino 111 and the Commission on Apointments

On October 17, 2011, Acting Secretary Ramon Paje of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) cleared Shoe Mart Development Corporation (SMDC) to cut and earth-ball 182 trees at Luneta Hill in Baguio City, thus allowing DENR-CAR Dir. Clarence Baguilat to release a tree cutting and earth-balling permit on October 27 of the same year.

Ramon Paje did this even though SMDC failed to comply with the requirements of an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) as warranted by the Philippine Environmental Impact Assessment System (PEIAS) and that the transactions were conducted clandestinely by SMDC and DENR.

Today, 182 trees will be earth-balled by SMDC without due regard of the ecological, environmental, cultural, aesthetic, ethical and social contributions of the said trees.

Paje's utter disregard for tree's importance and his apparent bias against local peoples are evident. Paje has already approved or recommended 353 new mining contracts which are mostly owned by foreign mining companies from Australia, Canada, China, and United Kingdom. He also lobbied and pressured local governments units that oppose large-scale mining in their area, which declared moratorium on open-pit mining, to retract their declarations.

He has also failed to stop forest destruction in Mount Pulag and Mount Santo Tomas.

We the undersigned strongly urge Pres. Benigno Aquino 111 to immediately sack Mr. Paje and for the Commission on Appointments (CA) not to confirm his appointment if he is not removed by P-Noy.

He must not be allowed to further destroy the environment. He must be made to pay for his grave mistakes that now endanger biodiversity and life including the important 182 trees at Luneta Hil Baguio City.

He must not further endanger the fragile Philippine environment and biodiversity.

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The Sack Ramon Paje or Prevent Him From Being Confirmed by Commission on Appointments petition to President Benigno Aquino 111 and the Commission on Apointments was written by Michael Bengwayan and is in the category Environment at GoPetition.