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Further attacks on environmentalists likely
Filipino green group issues stark warning after murder of broadcasterDr. Gerardo Ortega speaks during a protest action against mining in Palawan province
- Joe Torres, Manila
- January 25, 2011
âDr. Ortega worked tirelessly to educate and convince people to oppose and not allow mining in his province,â said Clemente Bautista, coordinator of the Kalikasan-Peopleâs Network for the Environment.
He said other anti-mining activists have âsuffered the same fate.... They were killed because of their outspoken defense of the environment and communities.â
Police say a lone gunman shot and killed Ortega, a veterinarian, while he was out shopping after his daily morning broadcast in the southern Philippine province of Palawan.
Environmental and media groups condemned the killing.
âThe death of Dr. Ortega is a serious loss to the movement dedicated to environmental protection,â Bautista said.
Environmentalists âcontinue to be targeted, hunted and killed,â he added.
According to Bautista, Ortega was the first prominent environmentalist killed this year and the 37th since 2001. He said 28 of them were anti-mining activists.
âWe believe Dr. Ortega was killed because of his active involvement in preserving the biodiversity and environment of Palawan against large-scale and foreign mining,â said Bautista.
Philippine anti-mining activists remain defiant
Fight for âenvironmental justiceâ ongoing