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We need to see action, mayor says

October 25, 2006

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Residents of Guimaras join a prayer rally at the Nueva Valencia public plaza to demand the removal of the oil from the sunken tanker Solar I and for assistance from the government and Petron. Photo from Panay News web site

BY NESTOR P. BURGOS
Panay News, Oct. 25, 2006

NUEVA VALENCIA, Guimaras – “We welcome the report that finally the oil will be recovered. But we need to see action rather than words. That is what we have been waiting for these past 73 days,” Nueva Valencia town Mayor Diosdado Gonzaga said yesterday.

About 500 residents from 10 villages severely affected by the oil spill yesterday joined a prayer rally at the Nueva Valencia public plaza to demand the removal of the remaining oil from the tanker and for assistance from the government and Petron for rehabilitation and livelihood.

The rally led by the Save Our Lives, SOS! Panay and Guimaras was also joined by Gonzaga, provincial board member Josephine de la Cruz and barangay officials from Guiwanon, Canhawan, Napandong, Lucmayan, Pandaraonan, Dolores, Tando, San Rogue, Igang and Sto. Domingo.

It was also joined by the Iglesia Filipina Independiente, United Church of Christ of the Philippines, Madia-as Ecological Movement, Gabriela and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan.

“We want President (Macapagal-Arroyo) to ensure that the oil from the tanker will be removed because we will not have any peace as long as it is there,” Simeona Molato, 65, barangay health worker in the island-village of Guiwanon said.

Fr. Andy Mark Loma, Save Our Lives, SOS! spokesperson, said the plight of the affected residents especially the evacuees have been “forgotten.”

“They need continued support especially since the work offered by Petron has been stopped,” Lona said.

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