Lawyers, Students, Business, and Local residents went on to campaign against cause of climate change.

By Ryan Christopher J. Sorote/FPL (The Freeman) Updated March 31, 2011 12:00 AM

CEBU, Philippines – Environmental group vows to bring before the United Nations the alleged violations committed by the Korean Electric Power Corporation and the government’s inaction to the “hazardous” operation of the power plant.

Vince Cinches said they will file a complaint before the UN against Kepco, Cebu Provincial Government, Department of Energy and Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The complaint will be presented by them during the UN workshops on climate change in Bangkok, Thailand on April 3 and 4. Cinches accused the local government and the national government agencies mandated to protect the environment of turning a blind eye on the alleged “hazardous” operations of Kepco in Naga City.

Cinches said it is high time to bring this case to the international scene to properly address “violations committed by KEPCO and its political cohorts of various international climate agreements.”

After presenting the case, Cinches hopes for UN representatives to visit Naga to asses the facility and its surrounding environment on alleged international environmental violations.

According to Cinches, government agencies such as DOE and DENR demonstrated “silence, tolerance, and pure ignorance” adding that “they have failed to protect the general welfare of the people.”

Environmental lawyer Benjamin Cabrido said that residents of Naga have lost their faith to their local government officials for having failed to help them with their struggle with coal dust affecting their day-to-day life.

Cabrido said Kepco has committed “blatant violations” as proven by the testimonies of the residents near the coal ash facility.

“Even from the very beginning, we already suspect that defective or flawed na ang design sa Kepco, kay duna man penchant of circumventing the laws,” Cabrido said.

He was also saddened that the province immediately lifted the cease and desist order it earlier issued against the unloading of coal. Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia and Naga City Mayor Valdemar Chiong issued cease and desist order against Kepco’s unloading of coal until remedial measures shall have been implemented to prevent coal dust from being blown by the wind.

Residents in the nearby areas in Barangay Colon where Kepco power plant is located have complained of coal dust. — (FREEMAN)