Why is WWF sounding like the gov’t? (aka the ties that bind part 2)

September 6, 2006

IF you read Rina Jimenez’s column today, or checked out the latest posting on Save Guimaras, you will wonder why it seems that LORY TAN, president of World Wildlife Fund Phils., is starting to sound like a Petron and GMA apologist.

First off, Lory Tan has been appointed by his presidentita to her Task Force Guimaras and oversee efforts to help the island province get back on its feet. So compared to Greenpeace’s fire and rhetorics on the oil spill issue, WWF Philippines has been quite sober.

Now I don’t want to question the motives of Lory Tan, who I’ve heard, is really a good man at heart. But the general perception is, he is now towing the government and Petron’s line in this very important issue.

But this should not really be a surprise, my friends, because if you check out the web site of WWF Phils., you will find that on its Board of Trustees, is PAUL G. DOMINGUEZ, presidential adviser for Mindanao. What’s more, Mr. Dominguez’s wife is Rosie Alcantara. And you guessed it! she is the sister of Nick Alcantara of Petron, and Tommy Alcantara, one of the biggest fundraisers of the presidentita. And Lory, is the son of Bienvenido Tan, a close friend and colleague of the Dominguezes. (Sorry, I’ve already removed WWF from my blogroll. Click here to know the other trustees.)

I’ve been quite silent on this issue for a while since I wanted WWF to go and do its work its own way. And I’ve personally supported WWF in its campaigns by making donations. But people are asking about it, people are questioning. Then I received an email from a photographer who strings for SIPA who said that she had asked Lory Tan if she could go with them to Guimaras to document the oil spill. Well Mr. Tan said his group wasn’t interested and said “they were relying on satellite photos to track the spill.”

Perhaps this revelation is a blessing in disguise. It’s sad I know. But really we cannot rely on arm-chair environmentalists to help us in this very important issue. We can only rely on ourselves to do the job. We inform the public about the truth (not GMA’s version), and get them to assist the Guimarasnons in their own little way.

That’s why I admire groups like Save Guimaras and Save our Seas, as well as the Visayas Sea Squadron, who have done more than these armchair environmentalists, in channeling assistance to Guimaras. They don’t need 8-week studies or conferences and whatnot to know that Guimaras needs help now.

This island province needs more action, less habla.


One comment

  1. I received a text message from a member of the bored of trustees of WWF Philippines. This is what he said>>Can’t answer for Lory as I don’t know what he’s been saying. but do know that he’s beem trying to make WWF constructively helpful in d response to d spill.

    Me: O sige na nga!

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