Santiago tops, Roxas the ‘meanest’ in Green Vote 2016 Campaign

Apr. 18, 2016
Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago (Photo from

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago (Photo from

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential candidate Miriam Santiago was branded as the “greenest” candidate while administration bet Manuel “Mar” Roxas was the “meanest” by an environmental advocacy group on Monday, April 18.

“Sinukat namin ang mga kandidato subalit karamihan sa kanila ay kulang sa maka-kalikasang pamantayan. [We rated all the candidates but we noticed that majority of them lacks standard in pro-environment issues]  Sen. Miriam Santiago is the breakaway ‘greenest’ candidate, followed by Sen. Grace Poe and Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. Administration bet Mar Roxas, meanwhile, is by far the ‘meanest’,” said Clemente Bautista, national coordinator of the Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE).

In a referendum of several “green” groups, Liberal Party’s presidential standard bearer Roxas earned a “failing mark” because he espoused the anti-environment policies and programs of the Aquino administration.

“During his stint as the secretary of DILG and among the leading apologists of the so-called ‘Daang Matuwid’, Mar Roxas demonstrated a negative record on of pursuing environmentally-destructive policies and programs of the Aquino administration,” Bautista said.

The group said that it was under Roxas’ watch being the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary that “illegal small scale mining operations such as the numerous black sand mining projects proliferated.”

“He has also has previous interest in large-scale mining operations and big miners are supporting his presidential candidacy,” Bautista explained.

Green Vote 2016

In a statement, Frances Quimpo, executive director of the Center for Environmental Concerns – Philippines, slammed both Roxas and Aquino for its “incompetence” in the wake of disasters and natural calaminities that pounded the country.

“Roxas and the Aquino administration failed to prepare and respond to the increasing number and severity of typhoon disasters like Typhoon Yolanda at Pablo. Even at the last moment, Roxas demonstrated his criminal neglect of disaster victims by being the lone candidate who did not condemn the violent dispersal and shooting inflicted by police on El Nino-affected farmers in Kidapawan,” Quimpo said.

For its part, UP Saribuhay, a youth environmental group and a co-convening organization of Green Vote, has noted the among presidential candidates it was only Santiago who almost perfected the score card in the Green Vote campaign.

“We note how Sen. Santiago rallied her fellow senators against the unconstitutionality of the EDCA. She is also the lone bet who worked GMO regulations, and passed numerous senate bills and resolutions to address climate change impacts and investigate the killings of environmentalists,” said UP Saribuhay’s Gil Catalan.

In the Green Vote campaign, all presidential candidate were scored using a report card, surveying their environmental platform, track records on environmental issues like large-scale mining, coal power, killings of environmentalists, genetically modified organisms (GMO), climate change and disasters, and the PH-US Enhance Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

Environmental groups also lauded Senator Grace Poe’s consistency on her stand calling for a shift from fossil fuels to clean and renewable energy. Duterte, the groups said, was “the lone candidate with a track record of opposing large-scale mining operations through his prohibition of mining in Davao City, though his rhetoric on large-scale mining is mixed.”

“While some candidates have progressive records and stands on particular environmental issues, not one among them offered a comprehensive environmental platform to reverse environmental degradation and plunder across all ecosystems and natural resources,” Bautista said.

He noted that “not one of them plan to reverse the anti-people and anti-environment policies such as the Mining Act and the Electric Power Industry Reform Act.”

“While there is a chance to vote an environmental leader in Malacanang, what we need to do more is to have a government that will ensure a balanced and healthful ecology. This will only be possible if the people remain vigilant and ‘eco-active’ way beyond the elections,” Bautista stressed.

Kalikasan PNE is one of the conveners of Green Vote, an electoral campaign initiated by environmentalists to promote a people’s environmental agenda for candidates and voters.

The group said the campaign seeks to deliver the group’s assessment in terms of the “stances and track records” of the presidential candidates on environment-related issues. (

comments powered by Disqus