Philippine land rights activists look to President Rodrigo Duterte for justice

Michelle Campos. PHOTO courtesy of globalwitness.or

By Raïssa Robles - Much of the conflict in the Philippines arise from squabbles over land and how to use it. For decades, wealthy and the powerful personalities have controlled land use. Thanks to them, many of our mountains are nearly bald from logging. And now, they are training their sights on the valuable ore lying beneath vast tracts of land. Many of these areas happen to be collectively owned by indigenous communities. Here is my latest story on the battle over land, which appeared today in South China Morning Post (HK).

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Typhoon Haiyan uncovered the Philippines’ secret shame


By Raïssa Robles - When Jette Po-Major and her medical colleagues went to Samar last year to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan they were stunned by a realization. Most of the residents had never had any medical or dental treatment. "Meeting people who have never seen a doctor in their entire life is something incredible for us," Jette told me then as she narrated her experience in the aftermath of what we locally call Typhoon Yolanda.

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Hurricane Sandy is like a Signal 3 Typhoon in the Philippines

Flooding caused by Hurrican Sandy in Lower East Side, Manhattan posted on Twitter

Exclusive By Raïssa Robles Hurricane Sandy is like our Typhoon Signal Number 3, according to Renito Paciente, officer-in-charge of Pagasa’s marine meteorological services section. He explained to me that Hurricane Sandy has sustained winds of 74 to 95 mph (miles per hour). In the metric system which we use, this would be equivalent to 119 to 153 kilometers per hour […]

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Henry Sy, Sr. would have stopped the cutting of Baguio’s pine trees


By Raïssa Robles Having watched SM grow from one Manila shoe store into a giant conglomerate today, I believe the founder Henry Sy Sr. would have stopped tree-cutting as soon as he saw the sharply negative reaction of Baguio residents. I believe this because it was not all business with Mr Sy, who willingly spent millions just to house a […]

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Residents must organize to save their environment from the greedy few

  Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, If I shall die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. – 18th Century Children’s Prayer By Raïssa Robles I couldn’t sleep last night thinking of the hundreds of children and their parents who were swept to sea in their […]

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Filipina scientist warns that water hyacinths grow back exceedingly fast

Hyacinth beetle 1

She has 4 tested ways of  routing them By Raïssa Robles Dr. Jessamyn Adorada told me it was urgent for the government to find more sustainable ways of cutting down their numbers because hyacinths grow very very fast. Dr. Adorada is an entomologist (insect specialist) who has done field work in the same area in Cotabato City which recently  flooded […]

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