Archbishop Jose Palma to Hold Press Conference Re Ivory and Priest: Opportunity for Change?

According to a Cebu Daily News story today, Priest’s Role Cited in Nat’l Geographic, Archbishop Jose Palma will issue a press conference regarding Msgr. Cristobal Garcia this week:

…Sought for comment, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma last night said he would answer the allegations in a press conference today or tomorrow. “I know the issue. I will address it,” he told Cebu Daily News who showed him a printout of the online article [Blood Ivory]. The magazine is not yet on sale in newsstands but early copies are already in the hands of subscribers and posted on the Internet.

This is an excellent opportunity for the relatively new archbishop to make a positive change.  Meanwhile, environment lawyer Antonio Oposa Jr. has called for an investigation regarding wildlife exploitation.

Philippines Initiates Ivory Investigations

In its 3-part coverage of Blood Ivory out today, the Philippine Daily Inquirer digs further.  Read the excellent lead story PH in Illegal Ivory Trade and a related story Priest Linked to Sex Abuse in US, Expelled by Dominicans (about Msgr. Cristobal Garcia). The Inquirer also provides some great background on past ivory seizures and storeroom thefts here.

‘Blood Ivory’ Hits Philippines: Calls for Investigations

According to a story running today in the Philippines, environmental lawyer Antonio Oposa, Jr. is calling for an investigation into the country’s ivory trade:

PH in illegal ivory trade

Priest at center of international controversy

…“[If these were true,] we see violations of the CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), Wildlife Conservation Act, Anti-Fencing Law, Customs Code and others,” he said.

Without judging before hearing, Oposa said his group had asked the Department of Justice, National Bureau of Investigation and Department of Environment and Natural Resources to investigate the people responsible for the illegal trade in the country.

“We have also asked the Interpol to conduct an investigation on the people behind this illegal wildlife syndicate,” he said.

“It has long been known in the international circles that the Philippines is a source, a buyer and a conduit in the illegal wildlife trade. This must stop,” Oposa added. Read More