ATM Statement: We stand with Atty. Bobby Chan in Palawan
Quezon City – Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) is deeply disturbed by a resolution passed by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Palawan declaring Atty. Robert “Bobby” Chan as ‘persona non grata’ during its regular session last January 12, 2021.
The resolution alleged Chan of making “malicious statements” against the provincial government, citing a video produced by PNNI and posted online.
This resolution has unnecessarily increased the risks to the life and health of Chan.
Bobby Chan is a known environmental defender with a long history of leading enforcement activities including arresting illegal loggers and commercial fishers in the province. His consistent activism has earned him the ire of powerful people, including local politicians who have been accused of neglecting the conservation of Palawan’s natural resources.
To the eyes and minds of many Palawenos and environmentalists across the Philippines, Bobby Chan is an exemplary lawyer using the law to advance environmental protection and the rights of indigenous peoples. While he is known for his firebrand tone of expressing his opinions, we sincerely believe that Chan provides an important dissenting voice that needs to be heard and not stifled. Especially in the context of Palawan known as the last ecological frontier of the country.
We request the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to initiate a fact-finding mission to assess the situation of Atty. Chan. We appeal to the Dept. of Interior and Local Government DILG to facilitate a review of the issues surrounding this case and to ensure the safety and well-being of Atty. Chan.
ATM stands with Atty. Bobby Chan, the Palawan NGO Network, Inc. (PNNI), and the rest of the nature-loving environmental rights defenders in Palawan intensify their stand against destructive activities such as mining, illegal mining, large-scale commercial fishing, and mono-crop plantations in Palawan. #
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