A group of Catholic and Protestant bishops called on San Miguel Corp. (SMC) to release the master plan for its airport project, which allegedly displaced farmers and fishermen in the outskirts of Metro Manila.
In a statement released this week, the Ecumenical Bishops Forum (EBF) said the call is part of its opposition to the “development aggression” on fishing and farming communities in Bulacan province.
The bishops said it is their way of being “with [the people] in their struggle for their right to the land and fishing grounds and for environment and ecological justice.”
SMC is eyeing to complete the construction of its P735-billion New Manila International Airport and “airport city” in Bulacan in the next six years.
The bishops’ statement said the project has been implemented without consultation with affected communities, adding that it caused economic dislocation and environmental destruction.
“Worst, there is no relocation site nor stable job opportunities in place for the affected residents,” read the statement.
The bishops likened the farmers and fisherfolk to a flock that is being shooed away from a “garden land” and were “scattered and dispersed by forces opposed to God.”.
The EBF statement said the prelates’ opposition to the project is a part of their “moral duty to lead the flock to the green pastures and still clear waters” like the prophet in the Old Testament who condemned the “act of injustice perpetuated by the powers that be and its minions.”