Environmental activist group Kalikasan PNE called on the House of Representatives on Wednesday, March 9, to convene a special session to investigate the attacks on forest rangers at the Masungi Georeserve.
“The violence against environmental defenders like Masungi’s brave rangers have quadrupled during this first month of the elections,” said Leon Dulce, national coordinator of Kalikasan PNE.
“We urge Congress to exercise oversight over the situation by acting on the House Resolution filed by Bayan Muna to investigate the situation in Masungi,” he added.
Masungi Rangers shared on a Facebook post this week that they are being harassed, with the latest incident happening on Sunday, March 5.
“A woman park ranger was harassed and her cousin punched on the gut by the same person who led the recent mauling of rangers,” read the social media post.
On March 2, legislators belonging to the Makabayan bloc in Congress filed House Resolution 2499 seeking to investigate the lack of enforcement by the police, local public authorities, and the Environment department of forest regulations.
Kalikasan PNE recently released documents that noted a 350 percent increase in incidents of rights violations against environmental defenders from January to February 2022. The figure resulted in a 483 percent spike in the number of affected defenders in the same time period.