Dispatch from Crame No. 469: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s Statement on the Manila Bay Reclamation and Betrayal of Public Trust


Share on facebook
Share on twitter

For the nth time, Duterte tricked the public once again. He went out crusading for Manila Bay ala Boracay-style with his usual vitriolic challenge against polluters and the public received the initiative with enthusiasm, believing it was truly for the environment. But no, it was not just to rehabilitate Manila Bay after all, but a preparation to stage the atrocious reclamation project there that will destroy the natural harbour of the historic bay. This President is endlessly prolific in lies and deceptions.

Bakit hindi niya kayang magtrabaho nang hindi nanloloko? Puro pa-pogi pero puro kasinungalingan ang nasa likod. He seems to be incapable of implementing any project out of sheer concern for the people—and for the environment. Most of his acts appear to be pro-China, anti-poor, and an economic sabotage.

The reclamation is touted to be the biggest One Belt One Road (OBOR) project of China in the country and said to create 50,000 jobs—and we all know that these jobs are mostly for Chinese workers. It is apparent now that most of the items in the “Build, Build, Build” program are dominated by Chinese firms, with Dennis Uy and other cronies as the frequently named contractors.

As if China plans everything and merely hands the blueprint over to Duterte for implementation. This conclusion is not far-fetched because Michael Yang, a Chinese national, is his economic consultant. All stems from China; is it Duterte’s plan to make the country China-made? This is a lowdown betrayal of public trust.

Studies have sufficiently warned us that any reclamation has negative impact on environment. Not only will it disrupt the ecosystem but also complicate the problem on pollution. Manila is flood-prone already. Where do we expect the water from the reclamation to go other than the inner waterways and make Manila even more vulnerable to flooding. And should that happen, who will be more immensely affected than the poor.

Now, Duterte is itching for this project to start as days after the clean-up drive, he has transferred the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) from NEDA and DENR to the Office of the President through Executive Order 74.

Malaking kababalaghan na naman ito. Sapagkat ayon sa ulat, ang Chinese company na responsable sa paggawa ng mga artificial islands sa West Philippine Sea (WPS) ay sya ring mangunguna sa planong dredging at reclamation ng Manila Bay. Para bang hindi pa sapat ang pag-agaw ng Tsina at pagpapabaya ni Duterte sa ating mga isla at karagatan sa WPS.

I greatly urge my fellow Filipinos to oppose the reclamation project and match, if not exceed, the same passion we showed in unmasking and opposing the corrupt agenda behind the Boracay clean-up. Had we not done these, the beauteous island would now have become a gambling hub.

If we ever allow any huge project in the scale of this Manila Bay reclamation, we must ensure that such undertaking serves and expresses our political, historical and cultural interests—not only economic. And we should do it for the right reasons. ###

Office of Senator Leila de Lima
Rm. 502 & 16 (New Wing 5/F) GSIS Bldg., Financial Center, Diokno Blvd., Pasay City

Trunk Lines:
(632) 552-6601 to 70 local no. 5750

Direct Lines:
807-8489 / (Rm. 16) 807-8580 /local 8619


© 2019 Office of Sen. Leila de Lima. All rights reserved.