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Environmentalist killed, 3 Samar Bishops cry for justice
By Alicia F. Nicart
posted 17-May-2012  ·  
Francisco Canayong of Salcedo was hacked to death May 1, while he was on his way home of said town.

As an active member of the Samar Island Partnership for Peace and Development (SIPPAD), Canayong supported and advocated for the protection of the environment particularly against the mining operation in Salcedo and in other parts of Eastern Samar.

In a Pastoral letter, the three Samar Bishops, Most Reverend Crispin Varquez (Borongan), Most Reverend Isabelo Abarquez (Calbayog), and Most Reverend Trance (Catarman) expressed their regret on the death of Canayong who worked for the cause of the many and of the environment.

The letter said that Canayong lived and died being poor but he was rich in principle which he did not give up, up to his last breath. “Many times he had been bribed in favor of the mining operation in Salcedo, but he never accepted, not even a single cent. Because he did not accept a single bribe, he received death threats but despite these, he continued to advocate against mining, until death came to him while on board his tricycle - a group of unidentified men intercepted and hacked him several times until he died,” the letter read.

Bishops Varquez, Abarquez, and Trance thus call for justice for the untimely demise of one SIPPAD supporter, as they also urge the kind-hearted and those who also believe in what Canayong died for, not to be disheartened but be inspired instead by the sacrifice he offered.

Mining operation in Eastern Samar is a big issue. At present, a number of government moves are underway to regulate mining or even put an end to it.

SIPPAD is a church-based non-government organization which runs in partnership with key government agencies for the cause of peace, progress, and development of the three Samar provinces, Eastern, Northern and Western Samar. (PIA 8, Eastern Samar/aen).
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