Letter to Pres. Arroyo

c/o Dr. Robert Peter Alojipan
OPD, Makati Medical Center
Makati, Metro Manila

November 18, 2002

The President
Malacanang Palace


You have become an integral part of Pandan, Antique’s history and your name is synonymous to “hero and savior” in our minds and hearts because you declared the Northwest Panay Peninsula as a “Natural Park” during your momentous visit to Pandan on April 25, 2002.

By designating the NW Panay Peninsula as a Protected Area pursuant to Republic Act No. 7586, NIPAS Act of 1992, you are showing the world that under your administration, protecting the environment is paramount. You gave credence to the fact that the NW Panay Peninsula is “ranked as one of the highest conservation priorities in the world based on the degree of endemism and threat” (Oliver and Heaney, 1997) and too precious not to try to salvage.

At this juncture, we come to you with our problem. The National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) wants to build a diesel power plant in Patria, Pandan, a peaceful community that depends on the sea, fields, and forest for livelihood and subsistence. Patria is our own little “Boracay” with the added amenities of a coral reef, abundant marine life, fresh air, gentle breezes, and lush greenery. It provides a sanctuary for solitude and temporary escape from the hub of city life. The power plant will destroy all these, as evidenced by numerous researches we have accumulated. Furthermore, the “protected area” of NW Panay will be endangered by the existence of the power plant.

Good resolutions acted out in the best of motives could come apart if they are not enforced and just taken for granted. That is why we come to you for your help and intercession. Although we are on the side of the law, NAPOCOR’s power and influence are beyond our means as simple, ordinary citizens who are but little pebbles on the beach that can be easily ignored or washed away in the arena of big corporations, power mongers, and unscrupulous predators. We can only fight with slingshots and bows and arrows against their big guns and cannon balls.

“Find out what people will quietly submit to and you find out the exact measure of injustice and wrong that will be imposed on them. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress” (Frederick Douglas). We are saying NO to NAPOCOR. Please help us sustain our endurance in our uphill struggle to save our people, our land, and our heritage.

I have the honor to remain,
Most respectfully yours,

(SGD.) Robert Peter Alojipan
President, Patatap Foundation, Inc.