18 October 2015
We condemn big foreign capitalists in the banana industry for reviving a dead case against top toxicologist Dr. Romeo Quijano, a retired professor at the University of the Philippines-Manila’s Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology.
The case of “unprofessionalism,” which was reportedly filed by six residents of Hagonoy, Davao del Sur before the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), only revives a case that was filed by big capitalists in the banana industry against Quijano on the basis of an article written 16 years ago.
The case before the PRC uses accusations contained in falsification and libel cases filed by Lapanday Development Corp. (Ladeco) that were dismissed by the Department of Justice on November 2013. It appears that the Hagonoy residents were coerced by Ladeco into reviving the case.
The case’s revival shows the ruthlessness of big capitalists in the banana industry towards those who dare speak up against the negative effects of pesticides on agricultural workers, communities and the environment. These big capitalists want to stifle and demonize scholarly and scientific research in order to advance their selfish drive for bigger profits.
Big capitalists in the banana industry clearly want to continue their harmful practice of aerially spraying pesticides and to further expand across Mindanao to the detriment of workers, communities and the environment.
The ongoing refusal of Sumifru, a subsidiary of multinational company Sumitomo Corp., to negotiate with workers of AJMR Sumifru Port Corporation for a Collective Bargaining Agreement highlights how big capitalists in the banana industry are violating workers’ rights. Sumitomo Corp. is a supplier of 30 percent of Japan’s banana consumption and exports bananas to China, New Zealand and the Middle East.
We stand by Dr. Quijano and all advocates of workers’ occupational health and safety, of the health and safety of communities, and of the protection of the environment. We vow to continue to protest against those who harass Dr. Quijano and who spread poison that victimize workers, farmers and the environment.
Reference: Elmer “Ka Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson, 0908-1636597
Dr. Romeo Quijano, president of the Pesticide Action Network-Philippines, will speak on Neoliberalism and Corporate Agricultural Plantations during the National Conference on Mindanao Plantations on October 28, 9:00 am at the UP College of Education Auditorium in Diliman, Quezon City.
UMA, KMP, the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR), and the national office and Northern Mindanao chapter of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP), will spearhead the formation of a national action network resisting the expansion of agricultural plantations in Mindanao.