Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
'Zombies' protest toxins in waterways
Activists demand action and more information on chemical pollutantsGreenpeace activists dressed as zombies protest against alleged government inaction over industrial water pollution. (Photo: Jed Delano/Greenpeace)
- ucanews.com reporter, Manila
- September 27, 2012
The activists demanded the government establish a "Right-to-Know" system regarding chemicals, and adopt a policy to eliminate hazardous waste released by factories into rivers, streams and lakes.
The protest was staged on the eve of International Right-to-Know Day.
Greenpeace Southeast Asia campaigner Beau Baconguis said the organization "laments" the fact that the government "has notÂ been vigilant in monitoring hazardous chemicals to prevent their entry into our water systems."
The Philippines passed a law on hazardous chemicals 20 years ago, but the government's Department of Environment and Natural Resources has so far issued only five â€śChemical Control Ordersâ€ť for mercury, asbestos, cyanide, polychlorinated biphenyls and ozone-depleting substances.
Baconguis said many of the chemicals discharged into rivers and lakes are carcinogenic and can cause mental disabilities and damage to vital organs.
Greenpeace first launched its water campaign in 2007, and since then, has been urging the government to be more decisive and uncompromising on water protection.
"It is obvious the government has failed to protect us from toxic contamination. Worse, they keep us in the dark about theseÂ pollutants," Baconguis said.
Greenpeace urged the government to establish a Pollutant Release and Transfer Register policy that would make information publicly available as a first step to eliminating toxic pollution.
"Unlike zombies which are plain make-believe, poisons in our water pose a real threat and need governmentâ€™s urgent attention and action," Baconguis said.
Earlier this month Greenpeace launched a three-week event where more than 100 volunteers traveled by boat, bike or on foot along 85 kilometers ofÂ Manila's waterways to document potential industry polluters and raise awareness on toxic pollution.
Greenpeace to inspect Manila waterways
Villagers blame mine for lake contamination