FOLLOW-UP PRESS BRIEFING For Immediate Release December 3, 2002
San Jose, California. An unprecedented lawsuit was filed this morning against the Department of Defense. The suit was filed on behalf of Philippine nationals, community members near the former US military bases in the Philippines, where many have died and fallen ill to diseases related to toxic waste exposure. Joining the 38 Filipino petitioners were the Filipino/American Coalition for Environmental Solution (FACES) and Arc Ecology. The suit aims to hold compel the US military to conduct an assessment of contaminated areas near US installations.
Simultaneous press conferences were held in San Jose, California and Manila, Philippines. In San Jose, dozens of Americans from around the Bay Area gathered to support the lawsuit, wearing black, holding large images of children with congenital diseases and deformities,leukemia and other conditions, several of whom have died. A digital image of the press conference with supporting gathering is attached.
Nher Sagum, a Philippine national speaking as a resident from one of the affected communities began the press conference with a statement, followed by attorney Scott Allen, FACES board member Aimee Suzara, and Arc Ecology Executive Director Saul Bloom. The conference was hosted by FACES Chairman Dr. Jorge Emmanuel. After the press conference, the plaintiffs walked into the courthouse to file the suit, while supporters remained outside to hold a vigil for the victims of toxic waste related illnesses. Holding a long scroll with 144 names, local supporters read the names of toxic waste victims, followed by a solemn bell, while others gathered to listen.
The judicial pathway from here:
60 days after the filing the Attorney Generals Office will respond on behalf of the Air Force and Navy;
within 60 days after the Attorney Generals Office response is received, the parties will confront each other over the legitimacy of the plaintiffs claim;
if the judge rules in favor of the plaintiff, a trial will proceed.
Aimee Suzara (FACES) 510-601-7422
Jorge Emmanuel (FACES) 510-799-2551 510-799-2551
Saul Bloom (Arc Ecology)
P.O. Box 2597
El Cerrito, CA 94530
833 Market Street, Suite 1107
San Francisco, CA 94103
The date posted here is due to our website rebuild, it does not reflect the original date this article was posted. This article was originally posted in Yonip in 2012