Lack of Media Presence for the Launching of the International Solidarity Mission on February 13

Anti APECO task force launched its International Solidarity Mission (ISM) for Casiguran during a press conference on February 13 at the Commission on Human Rights, Q.C. that turned into a public meeting because of low media presence.

Media campaigner of Anti APECO Task Force, Jerik Cruz said the Prelature of Infanta is the main organizer of this action whose first step will be a two day on-site visit of European and Filipino faith-based leaders, local anti-APECO support groups, representatives of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and media around the area of the eco-zone on February 17-18.

Finding of the mission will be reported to international organizations and government agencies.

APECO is named a developmental project by Angara’s family whose leading it since july 2009. Father Pete from the Prelature of Infanta described APECO as “intended for the rich, not intended for the poor”. He talked about natural resources that people were going to be deprived through this project.

CHR’s division manager Alex S. Ventic said “We cannot categorically say there were human rights violation in this APECO project, because right now we don ‘t have our first hand report from our investigators. They are going with this group, the International Solidarity Mission to conduct a consultation. After that, we might have a complete picture and say if some human rights were indeed violated.”

Media advisories were sent to most of Manila based press organizations, organizers said. Jerik Cruz, Alex S. Ventic and Father Pete all said last Impeachment news were certainly causing this lack of media presence. Father Pete added some media were reluctant to cover APECO story. “We are having difficulties within entering mainstream media because people behind APECO are powerful”.

Jerik Cruz said media in the Philippines “tends to follow issues that are the most trendy at the moment.” According to him, some other issues equally relevant but less “hype” are marginalized from mainstream news flux.

So on, Jerik mostly counts on social media to inform people about the ISM.

The social campaign criticized by APECO

Prelature of Infanta recently launched a campaign named “It’s more fun in Aurora without APECO”.This campaign was recently criticized by APECO administrationIt’s inspired by the January “ huge media trend, It’s more fun in the Philippines. We would like to create a similar claim, Aurora it’s already beautiful without APECO. A lot of groups have been concerned. We give the possibility to them to be involved,” Jerik Cruz said.

The International Solidarity Mission will leave on 16th of February. It will fund transportation and accommodation for 5 reporters.

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