Press Release
March 30, 2009

Press statement of Senator Loren Legarda


I commend the Commission on Human Rights for formally looking into extra-judicial killings in Davao City. It should expand this formal inquiry into other localities where such incidents take place. There is absolutely no justification for extra-judicial killings because our government is committed by our Constitution to the rule of law. Criminal suspects must be charged, tried and their culpability determined, to law, and not subjected to summary executions.

Likewise there is no justification for insurgent forces to resort to kidnappings, assassinations and terrorism in pursuit of what they claim are their political goals and the regime of justice. Even guerrillas must respect the rules of civil conflict and humanitarian conduct, according to international law.


I call upon the authorities of the cities and municipalities bordering Manila Bay and the national government agencies concerned to exert all efforts to clean the beaches along the bay to protect the health of children and adults bathing in the bay, especially during summer.

It is heartbreaking to watch children and even their fathers and mothers bathing in the bay to escape the summer heat just because they could not afford the transportation to resorts outside Metro Manila. Most of these bathers are poor. They are taking a chance in bathing in polluted and dirty shores just to enjoy the summer and escape the heat despite signs warning of hazards to health.

Our municipal and health authorities should cooperate in cleaning the bay to make summer more enjoyable and safe to the poor.


Aside from serving merely as an excuse to prolong the power of the administration and its allies after the May 2010 election, the proposal to amend the Constitution to allow foreigners to own lands is by itself contrary to national interest.

As of now, only members of the upper middle class and the rich can afford to buy land either for tilling or for residential purposes. The poor, who are in the great majority, as shown by the expansion of squatter areas, are unable to buy land for residential purposes. Tillers cannot buy land except through land reform which as of now is pending extension.

Once foreigners are allowed to purchase land, it will be even more difficult for most of our people to buy land for residence or farming because prices would shoot up. We will become mostly squatters in our own land. We would lose our national patrimony.

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