DAVAO CITY – An environmentalist group said President Benigno Aquino III gave a wrong answer to a question of an elementary pupil on why illegal logging has not stopped in the country.

During his visit Wednesday here, Aquino went to Teodoro Palma Gil Elementary School where he answered five pre-set questions from the pupils.

Jirojunn Juri Lopoz, the student council president, asked the President “why is there illegal logging even if this is prohibited?”

Aquino answered with a Bible story on brothers Cain and Abel.

“There will always be a pasaway,” said Aquino.

Aquino said the logs confiscated by the government are used to build school chairs.

“The recent statement of Pres. BS Aquino which implies that we cannot do anything about the pasaway (devious) only shows why those on the ground are not doing something to halt illegal logging activities, especially corporate ones,” said Professor Chiara Respecia, spokesperson of environmental group Panalipdan Southern Mindanao.

Respecia said that the President’s answer “only shows that even the President himself, who is supposed to be the most powerful official of the land, does not have the political will to do so. He should resign immediately!”

“While we want to point fingers to local government officials for being inutile, if not implicated in these activities, the President can direct agencies involved to do their jobs,” said Respecia.

Respecia said big logging concessionaries are “legal.”

Respecia said “massive timber extraction is happening in Mindanao despite the so-called logging ban imposed by the Aquino government,” citing rampant logging in Davao Oriental.

“Reports from the communities show various ways of how illegal logging is happening. One of them: burying logs on the ground and moving them at night,” she said.

Earlier, Aquino was joined by Department of Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez and Department of Public Works and Highway chief Secretary  Rogelio Singson in  Barangay Camudmud, Island Garden City of Samal for the DOT-DPWH convergence program on the circumferential road project in Igacos which is set to be completed in January 2016.

Before they met with Aquino, hundreds of students from Davao Central District participated in the Treevolution of the Young, a tree-planting activity conducted by the Supreme Pupil Government of the school and the SPG Federation of the Davao Central District.

Meanwhile, Respecia took a jab at the President’s “inaction towards Lumad issues, especially the recent killings.”

“One of the reasons why Lumad communities are being displaced is because of the entry of logging firms, plantations and mining interests,” she said.

Respecia said that while laging-laging (carabao logging) has been a source of livelihood for lumads in the past, “they stopped when they learned about the destructive effects of these activities to the environment and to their ancestral land.”

Respecia said Alcadev, the school which Executive Director Emerito Samarca was killed by paramilitary groups early September, “is one of those schools who teach Lumads to shift to sustainable agriculture instead.”

She said agriculture for Lumads are the main advocacies of STTILC (Salugpungan Ta Ta’Nu Igkanugon Learning Center Incorported) and the Misfi Academy.

“The classic example of this is when the Salugpungan community resisted the advance of logging company Alcantara and Sons in the 1990s and the present mining and plantation interests in their communities,” she said.

Respecia said forests are shed for the use of cacao and oil palm plantations which the government targets to be at hundreds of thousands of hectares in Mindanao.

“These interests even create their own private armies, paramilitary groups to fund military operations against Lumads,” she said.

Respecia said “the lumads taught by these schools became protectors of these resources, defending their lands, but are now being attacked all-over Mindanao and the other parts of the country.”

“If there are pasaways it is the government agencies who are tasked to protect our forests, our mountains, our environment. The pasaway is (President Aquino) himself,” said Respecia.

Later in the day, President Aquino’s attended a gathering of friends and supporters of the Liberal Party held at the SMX in Lanang. (davatoday.com)

  • southDUDE

    Id like to meet this pasaway respecia. She is self righteous. Oh my.

  • missing_n

    Are you saying that these illegal activities should be tolerated? that the Lumads are the ones who are wrong? that you are siding on the government and their wrong doings (and their atrocities on the Filipino people?)? And that we Filipinos, and the people of the Government aren’t that incompetent and are law-abiding?

    To have the mentality of “lagi namang ganyan mangyayari, pabayaan nalang natin?”

    Wtf.

    If not so, please care to explain why would you view Ms. Respecia as a “self-righteous” person.

  • Chad Karl

    It’s sad how resignation has always been most of the people’s first solution when it comes to varying issues.
    Given the environmental group’s access to these information (and considering how long they mentioned the problems have existed), it confuses me how there weren’t any significant actions (like lobbying) that reached the highest authority. Or maybe there were but the government just thought it wasn’t much of a priority (shame on you, gov).
    We could’ve avoided these damages if there was an exchange of info beforehand but now instead of initializing an actual solution, I guess it’s better to focus on pointing out who did what and why it’s their fault –because we couldn’t solve these problems if we don’t first identify the ones who have the highest accountability.
    Yes, maybe that’s how it works. And if proven they failed, we should just remove the person in-charge so we get to have lesser chance of pushing our advocacy.

  • SpeakerofPhyrexia

    “There will always be a pasaway,” – If that’s the case why is he doing to stop those “pasaways”. But of course he condones those “pasaways”

  • thatsgenius

    Oh he knows many pasaway and the pasaways he needs to remain in power.

  • thatsgenius

    Aquino has proven many many times that he is a failure, and he is still in power. Get the picture?

  • thatsgenius

    very well said….:)

  • DROIDS

    He is not a failure in his own mind. He has accomplished his tasks very well, sad to say, it is not for the Filipino people but for the ruling class.

  • g3rard

    I don’t who is more stupid. His staff or himself.

  • Kat Ropa

    Ganun talaga bumoto ang mga Pinoy ng INUTIL, namnamin nating lahat. wag na tayo magpaka ipokrito halos lahat ng nag comment dito si Pnoy ang binoto. ganun talaga may pagkakataon pa naman kayo pag isipan nyo ang tandem ng Gordon-Bayani sa darating na 2016.

  • neo seng

    mga cabinets nya puro mga pasaway sa batas, yes he totally condones those palaways.

  • gggrrrrrrr

    very unpresident response…instead of giving solution, he give a reason….what kind of animal is this?

  • southDUDE

    Enough talk, you are asking too much from the President. Simple, you are from the left. I do not wonder

  • Filimon Francisco

    THATS WHY..REGRET PUTTING THIS AQUINO AS PRESIDENT ..!
    REGRET TOO FOR PUTTING THE LATE CORY HER MOTHER AS PRESIDENT…BOTH HAD DESTROYED THE COUNTRY WORST THAN MARCOS IN A MUCH SHORTER TIME !!!

  • Filimon Francisco

    From now own… we wont support nor vote anyone affiliated with the Aquinos… the late cory kicked out the american bases without considering the impact…lost businesses, employment, security and now lost territories to China…and placed his relatives in govt corporatoons to manage…introduced indiscriminate land reform, but not their own family farms…efficient farms were destroyed, cashing out money from govt coffers to pay land owners that ended up a disaster and counterproductive…And now BBL the son Noynoy, is giving away Mindanao to a small noisy terrorist MILF group!!!

  • Kari Normann

    Bugok tlaga.

  • PleasureBang

    if there’s always a pass away then there’s will always be a “SOLUTION” for that . putang ina mo! xD

  • Oskar Atendido

    Who is giving permission to these illegal loggers in the first place? Who? Not the president, they are the local officials from DENR, THE GOVERNOR, THE MAYOR,DOWN TO THE BARANGAY LEADERS . OTHER WISE HOW CAN THESE LOGGERS OPERATE ?

  • Antonette Lacaden Sadang

    so why can’t your president stop it, he is president after all you know why because he is getting his share, that just shows how corrupt your government in the philippines…what an idiot…

  • jgl41456

    For your information President Cory lobbied that the Philippine senate retain the US bases research your data before you post you liar!

  • jgl41456

    For your information President Cory lobbied that the Philippine senate retain the US bases research your data well before you post you liar!

  • jgl41456

    YOU LIE THROUGH YOUR TEETH IDIOT!

  • jgl41456

    This self righteous Respecia has the worst kind of crab mentality.

  • juan

    That’s why as you premise, Ferdinand Marcos is Bad due He jailed all the “pasaway” during his regime.

  • AquinoMentalHospital

    Tanga mo! mapupudpod daliri mo sa kakatanggol sa lahi ng mga ABNORMAL!

  • Mr. Pepsi Max

    He is president, not a dictator. know the difference. 😉

  • Jeri Ma.

    walang animal ang pwede ikumpara kay pinoy, demonyo pa meron.

  • Jeri Ma.

    huwag na patulan si jgl41456 tabaho niya yan kahit hindi niya gusto ipagtanggol ang presidente niya wala siya magagawa.

  • ISANGBALAKALANG

    Mr. Pepsi Max !!! So You mean the president can’t do anything about the illegal loggers ?

  • ISANGBALAKALANG

    Kung ang aso ang magiging leader ng lion, walang lion ang susunod sa aso, pero kung ang lion ang magiging leader ng mga aso lahat susunod =D =D =D …

  • ISANGBALAKALANG

    Then if he knows that the cabinets are pasaway. then what the hell this IDIOT president doing? bakit hinde nya SIPAIN ? lol

  • Rhett Carillo

    You don’t get the point of this article. Noytard.

  • Rhett Carillo

    Marcos never destroyed the country. Marcos build this country and protected us from the communist.

  • Rhett Carillo

    Legalize hemp, no need to cut down trees!

  • gggrrrrrrr

    student government vs showbiz government…serious question vs pacharot na sagot…

  • Borikao

    Pasaway are they like pNoy himself a yellow race illegal logging activities cannot be stop because they are brought to China.

  • Filimon Francisco

    Idiot ka rin..

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