PRESS RELEASE March 27, 2024: Environmental defender groups amass local and international support to surface and release Eco Dangla and Jak Tiong

March 27, 2024

PRESS RELEASE

Environmental defender groups amass local and international support to surface and release Eco Dangla and Jak Tiong

March 27, 2024

Contact person:

lia@cecphils.org / 09097273371

maggie@kalikasan.net / 0955 299 5309

 

As of March 27, 2024 10:10 in the morning, a total of 257 organizations and 416 individuals have signed the petition for the safe and immediate surfacing of our fellow environmental defenders, Eco Dangla III and Joxelle “Jak” Tiong. The signatories come from faith-based organizations, and from the sectors of environmental and climate advocates, scientists, women, youth, indigenous peoples, urban poor, farmers, fisherfolks, migrants, workers, youth, and professionals, among others. This sign-on statement was initiated by the Center for Environmental Concerns – Philippines Inc. (CEC) and Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) to gather support from fellow environmental defenders and civil society for the immediate and safe release of Eco and Jak. 

 

Among the organizational signatories were Global Witness, Frontline Defenders, the International Association of People’s Lawyers, Center for International Environmental Law, Business and Human Rights Resource Center, Friends of the Earth (FoE) – USA, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines, OilWatch International, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Ban Toxics, Manushya Foundation, Oceana Philippines, , and Asia Indigenous Peoples Network on Extractive Industries and Energy

 

Religious leaders and church groups also signed the petition including Bishop Broderick Pabillo and the Commission in Ecology from the Diocese of Antipolo, Diocese of Paranaque, Caritas Philippines, United Church of Christ in the Philippines, and National Council of Churches in the Philippines.

 

Among the signatories were Jhed Tamano and Jonila Castro who are women environmental defenders who were abducted and released last September 2023, and Stephen Tauli who is from an indigenous people’s organization who was abducted last August 2022.

According to the statement, “Before their disappearance, they were victims of red-tagging, or the government practice of naming individuals and organizations as communists or terrorists, which is often a prelude to further attacks. Their case is the 22nd and 23rd incident of enforced disappearance under the 21-month administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.”

 

The statement concluded with the calls “for the immediate release of Eco and Jak and all victims of enforced disappearances. In addition, we call to stop the attacks and for accountability for the continuing attacks on environmental defenders. In particular, we call for the Philippine government to urgently investigate the abduction of Eco and Jak and ensure that they are released safely.”

Eco and Jak were abducted on March 25, at around 8:00 PM in Brgy. Polo in San Carlos City, Pangasinan. Before their abduction, they have experienced harassment, red-tagging, and surveillance. 

Both Eco and Jak are from the Pangasinan Province who are passionately advocating upholding the environmental and human rights of the people from the vulnerable and marginalized sectors of the community. They have worked for the protection of Pangasinan Province from coastal and offshore mining, coal and nuclear power plants, and waste-to-energy incinerators. 

They are also part of the Environmental Defenders Congress (EDC) and Asia Pacific Network of Environmental Defenders (APNED) in campaigning for the protection of environmental defenders.

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