Press Release
November 20, 2010

Legarda Lauds SC For Issuing 'Writ of Kalikasan'

Senator Loren Legarda today lauded the Supreme Court (SC) for protecting the environment and the welfare of the people through the issuance of the unprecedented "writ of kalikasan" and a Temporary Environmental Protection Order (TEPO) against the First Philippine Industrial Corp (FPIC) and First Gen Corporation.

The order would compel FPIC and First Gen to temporarily halt its oil pipeline operations as a consequence of environmental hazards brought about by leaks found underground in the area adjacent to West Tower Condominium along Osmeña Avenue, Makati City.

"We hail this Order as part of the environmental justice that we support as an advocacy to strike a balance between ecological and economic development concerns. The SC has just proven its commitment to serve the best interest of the people," Legarda said.

"We likewise see the issuance as a precedent and a warning to all sectors that their activities, whether for profit or otherwise, should not in any way be done at the expense of degrading the environment. This is another triumph of the people's right to a balanced and healthful ecology," she added.

During the recent Senate inquiry on the petroleum leak, Legarda, Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, voiced out her concerns about the health and safety of residents in the affected area.

Aside from the water and air contamination that could pose serious health problems to the residents of the West Tower Condominium and nearby areas, the Senator was also wary of a possible explosion or fire incident.

"With this writ of kalikasan, I am optimistic that the speedy administration of environmental justice can be achieved through court action on the inspection of the 117-km FPIC pipeline to ensure that there are no threats to health and the environment and that the safety of the public is ensured," Legarda concluded.

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