Press Release
October 10, 2013

Villar Elevates Petition vs Reclamation of Manila Bay to the Supreme Court
Filed Petition for Review on Certiorari

Sen. Cynthia A. Villar filed an appeal with the Supreme Court to challenge anew the ruling of the Court of Appeals which affirmed the validity of the issuance of an Environmental Compliance Certificate ("ECC") over the proposed 635-hectare reclamation project. The project is to be situated in the mouths of the Las Piñas, Parañaque and Zapote rivers and right beside the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area ("LPPCHEA") along Manila Bay.

In her 93-page Petition, Sen. Villar essentially argued that the Court of Appeals committed several patent errors when it denied her Petition for Writ of Kalikasan against the project.

Sen. Villar also pointed out that the 635-hectare reclamation project was based on baseline data gathered as far back as the year 1996. Given the changes in the climate regimes in the country, such as the occurrence of freak storms at increasing levels of intensity and regularity, the presence of a 635-hectare reclamation project along Manila Bay could severely alter its water discharge and flushing capabilities at a time when unprecedented storm surges, floods and typhoon are rampant, she said. The legislator stressed that studies conducted on the Project showed that it may worsen flooding conditions in the cities of Las Piñas, Parañaque and Bacoor.

She also pointed out that "there is no possible collection of circumstances which would ensure the viability and sustainability of a sensitive critical wildlife habitat while it sits under the shadow of a behemoth megalopolis designed to cater to the largess of human needs and habitation". In her words, "the existence of one is repugnant to the other".

Sen. Villar maintained that "a more comprehensive and thorough study, using updated baseline data, should be conducted at the very least".

The senator likewise questioned the legal anomalies and infirmities that attended the Environmental Impact Assessment process when the reclamation project was vetted and approved.

She decried that the entire process was infested with irregularities that it appears that the prevailing rules and regulations were deliberately flaunted. Since the rules designed to protect the environment were disregarded, she argued that the acts and omissions of the respondents will likely be detrimental to the inhabitants of the cities of Las Piñas, Parañaque and Bacoor.

Sen. Villar declared that the Petition involves issues that are of public interest and importance. She welcomed other interest groups to participate and join her in her appeal.

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