Bullying should stop
OpinYon Rizal

Bullying should stop

Feb 21, 2024, 2:38 AM
OpinYon News Team

OpinYon News Team

News Reporter

JUST like in marriage, a contract signed by the groom and the bride is deemed binding in any court of law. Same principle applies in ceding properties, which are usually covered by an absolute deed of sale.

However, the case of the controversial Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and a construction company for forest management is something worth pondering.

Why would the DENR entrust 2,700-hectare area to a construction company? Why would the DENR sign a perpetual contract which seemed more like an absolute sale of a property with the government getting nothing from the deal?

These questions were raised by the Department of Justice (DOJ) over the MOA which effectively ceded an area that is almost the size of Pasig City to a construction company calling itself as an environment advocate.

According to the Department of Justice, the management contract awarded by the DENR to Blue Star Construction and Development Corporation (later referred to as Masungi Georeserve Foundation Inc.) is itself illegal and unconstitutional.

Justice Secretary Crispin Remulla hinted at multiple flaws surrounding the management contract -- perpetuity is one. According to DOJ, a perpetuity contract could only be possible if the deal involves an absolute sale of the property.

Another government agency – the National Commission on the Indigenous People (NCIP) raised the issue of the Dumagat-Remontado in Rizal Province. According to the NCIP, the MOA between the DENR and Masungi Georeserve Foundation Inc. effectively shooed indigenous people away from their ancestral domain.

As if driving the IPs away isn’t enough, Masungi is now trying to drive away a government flagship project embarking on cheap but clean renewable energy. Their argument – it crossed their backyard.

Perhaps it’s high time for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to step in. Bullying should stop.

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