"..a bardy view!"

Gerry Ortega…just another statistic?

Campaigning journalists, particularly those which threaten big business, who stand up to self-interested conglomerates pursuing agendas exploiting areas of conservation, ecology and environment are severely at risk of assassination.

One man cannot be allowed to obstruct the lucrative returns of mining for instance, which will result in deforestation, coral reef destruction, the extinction of natural wildlife, marine and coral decimation and the displacement of local people. The hunger for riches by a few powerful cartels or individuals will always ride roughshod over the many insignificant people who only want a fair crack at life.

It's not too much to ask. Why shouldn't indigenous people have a right to live in harmony with their surroundings, and sustainably manage their environment so that they, and visitors can benefit from it?

Sadly that is not the way of the world, and corrupt, ruthless organizations will continue to exploit the weak, and if by chance they appreciate the earth's natural resources, they will view them only in dollar signs.

Corruption is a cancer, and that cancer is malignant in the Philippines.

The news that another journalist has been killed in the Philippines is just another statistic. The third since the new president came to power, and the 142nd since 1986. Indeed 30 journalists were murdered in a massacre only 14 months ago. If it happened anywhere else in the world it would have been a global outrage – but it happened in the Philippines – so no big deal then?

Gerry Ortega, a radio broadcaster on DWAR Palawan, was shot in the head whilst he was shopping at a stall. The arrested gunman just said he was intending to rob him. There are many foreign tourists visiting Palawan, who would more likely be targets for robbery, but this guy chose a well known environmental activist. Coincidence?

Ortega was an outspoken and active member of the Puerto Princesa citizens group, which sought to declare as unconstitutional an anomalous sharing agreement between Palawan's provincial government and the national government over a $10 billion natural gas project off the coast of the islands – regarded by Jacques Cousteau as one of the worlds last natural frontiers.

Yet he had his brains blown out because he looked like he had a few pesos in his pocket!

A wife has lost a husband and five children have lost a father. Police sources are trying to verify reports that the "hit" was contracted for 100,000 pesos with a 10,000 down payment. That's less than £1500 with a £142 deposit. The Philippines is the cheapest place on Earth to arrange a contract killing.

The new president of the Philippines needs to get a grip. For every day he is in power he grows weaker, and influential powerful factors will exploit him – just as they exploit the country's resources with impunity.

This somnambulant nation needs to get off its arse. There are great people there, but they are served very badly indeed. When will they wake up?

January 24, 2011 - Posted by | Culture, Politics, The Philippines, Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. So saddened to hear this. You have a gift with English my friend and keep it up. Unfortunately the way of the world is money and when we consistently elect politicians who would do any thing for a backhander, then I guess we can only blame ourselves?


    Comment by Spook Moor | January 29, 2011 | Reply

  2. It helps to have gifted readers! Thanks for that! Have a drink on me!


    Comment by Bar De Ness | January 29, 2011 | Reply

  3. So its not only Africa? Makes me sad to hear this.


    Comment by frankiekay | November 6, 2014 | Reply

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