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The PCA-SAGIP-UPLB Consortium has stepped up its propaganda campaign to convince farmers to have their coconut trees injected with the deadly chemical Starkle. No trees injected means no ‘income’ for the Consortium. The propaganda is two-pronged – discredit organics, and promote Starkle. Realizing, however, the pressure to stop the chemical option because of the dangers it poses to the entire multi-billion coconut industry, the grand plan of the Consortium is reportedly to withdraw Starkle ‘in due time’, after perhaps they have exhausted the ‘irreversible’ P37 million budget now in their hands, which translates into a staggering 620,000 ‘chemicalized’ trees, enough to trigger a global boycott abroad of our coco exports. The power behind the Consortium is REY VELASCO, ex-chancellor of UPLB. A so-called ‘UPLB Mafia’ has reportedly pressured PCA-SAGIP elements to become allies to sell Starkle, marketed by LEADS Agricultural Products, Inc., whose President, FERNANDO MALDEVA, is Velasco’s frat brother. SAGIP is headed by ERLENE MANOHAR, a known Alcala protégé (rumors say she has been replaced, unverified). Other key members out of the more than a dozen members of SAGIP include REY EBORA of Bigtech, a UPLB company, CELIA MEDINA, entomologist, and a Bureau of Plant Industries (BPI) representative, in charge of quarantine. Another PCA name that has propped up in the coconut chemical initiative is RUEL ROSALES, PCA Deputy Administrator.
Majority of farmers and plantations have rejected the free offer after learning that 1) the chemical is more potent than the banned DDT, 2) fruits from ‘chemicalized’ trees had turned sour, and 3) a quarantine banning their products to reach the market, will leave them without livelihood. In Liliw, Laguna, where the rejection was total and strong, PCA-SAGIP told organic suppliers they were not allowed to sell, but later reversed their statement when the Mayor joined the dialogue. In truth, organics compete with Starkle, so that the Consortium is being denied income from selling it. Documents on the success of organics were suppressed by SAGIP.
There are reports however, that some farmers went to PCA to verify information that they will be compensated for infested trees, which we hope is not on the condition they accept chemical injection. But where will they get the money?
The PCA-SAGIP budget of about P150 million for the containment of the coconut infestation was approved in March 2014. From that, PCA released P37 million for the chemical option on June 26, 2014, after which there was a frenzied propaganda campaign for farmers to accept it, coupled with the suppression of the organic option. The Consortium is now under extreme pressure to proliferate Starkle, and spend the P37 million so that they can get more, before the organics get a piece of the pie.
Kiko Pangilinan, Presidential Assistant for PCA, who was appointed by Noynoy in late April, would be fully aware then of the release of budget and signing of the LEADS contract in June. Kiko, who is reportedly an organic farmer, openly campaigns for organics, but has also endorsed Starkle as an ‘emergency’ solution, in spite of being told that it will not solve the emergency situation but worsen it. Kiko is most likely misinformed by the chemical group from the onset, as it is only very recent that he is talking to the organic people. There are new field reports that infested trees are recovering naturally, i.e. without intervention, because the tiny wasp parasite that kills the Coconut Scale Insect (CSI) has been following the latter’s trail. There is thus no need for a ‘CSI scare’, which is used to justify Starkle. This dispels the illusion of an emergency. In a meeting with the Save the Coconut Movement (SCM) arranged by Gina Lopez, Kiko gave SCM a month to give an appraisal showing the wasp approach works. But Kiko was not keen on a suggested one-month Starkle moratorium. The danger is, if appraisal is delayed, continued use of Starkle may induce a boycott of our exports, which Kiko is well aware of. Is he willing to take the chance, and answer for that massive agricultural disaster by deferring moratorium? A congressman, who requests anonymity until further information, is planning to conduct an investigation on reported anomalies on 1) FPA’s fast-track approval of the deadly Starkle and suppression of organic applications, 2) alleged allowances given out to unknown Consortium members to have the budget for Starkle approved, and the LEADS contract signed.
Noynoy, who has been silent all this while, is too busy deflecting impeachment moves, so that he may have no time to step in the name of our multi-billion coco industry and the 25 million marginals it supports.
PCA-SAGIP, as well as farmer groups and NGOs, are requested to react to this article and confirm unverified information.
Watch on Youtube the benefits of organics by Aksyon 5 of ABC5, which is now catalyzing an all out campaign among farmers and NGOs against Starkle to counter PCA-SAGIP-UPLB propaganda. http://youtu.be/-2aBHR4aOSE
******************** Other Coco Crisis Articles.
1. The Coconut Crisis http://www.sisterraquel.com/2014/06/massive-infestation 2. The PCA-SAGIP-UPLB Syndicate http://www.sisterraquel.com/2014/06/pca-uplb 3. Replies to PCA-SAGIP Statements http://www.sisterraquel.com/2014/07/pcas-reply 4. Did PCA-SAGIP receive allowances from chemical firm? http://www.sisterraquel.com/2014/07/accupressure 5. 100k San Pablo Coco Trees Chemicalized by PCA-SAGIP http://www.sisterraquel.com/2014/07/pca-sagip-chem 6. This article. ‘UPLB Mafia’ behind Coco-Chem? http://www.sisterraquel.com/2014/07/uplb-mafia
****************** MEDITATION AND PRAYER – A TRILOGY the people who walked in darkness have seen a radiant light on those in the land of gloom You have smashed the yoke that burden them the whip of the slave master Isaiah 8:23-9:3 excerpts
seek first His kingdom and His justice and all things shall be granted you fret not about tomorrow for tomorrow takes care of itself living for the day is its own evil
Matthew 6:33-34, excerpts
they departed in tears but I shall console and guide them I shall lead them to brooks on level ground so that none shall stumble for I am the Lord God of all
Jeremiah 31:8-9, excerpts
Stories of terminal cancer healings http://www.sisterraquel.com/2008/09/archive07-e-books-and-healing-stories/