Fisherfolks ask SC: Uphold 2008 writ of mandamus on Manila Bay

Published January 6, 2021, 11:34 AM

by Raymund Antonio

Fisherfolks on Wednesday said they were not surprised by the Supreme Court’s dismissal of the writ of kalikasan petition against the construction of the New Manila International Airport in Bulacan, a project of San Miguel Corporation.

Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) (Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

According to the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), the SC decision was a “180-degree-turn on its very own writ of continuing mandamus” to clean-up, restore, and rehabilitate Manila Bay.

A writ of kalikasan is a legal remedy protecting the constitutional right to a “balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.”

The petition asked the SC to stop the reclamation of Manila Bay, and save fish, mangroves, and marine ecosystems in the area.

Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta told reporters that it was “not sufficient in form and substance.”

In 2008, the SC came out with a landmark ruling directing 13 government agencies led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to clean, rehabilitate, and preserve the Manila Bay.

Pamalakaya chair Fernando Hicap said the high court should uphold its writ of continuing mandamus to protect the bay from all forms of destructive projects such as reclamation.

Two years after the launch of the government’s rehabilitation project, Pamalakaya said the fish catch of fisherfolk in Manila Bay has not improved.

The group previously said that average fish catch in most of the bay’s municipal fishing grounds remains at two to five kilos per fishing trip.