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Sting & Mall of Asia is like oil & water, they don't mix!

Fellow blogger human rights lawyer environmentalist Cheryl Chyt L. Daytec-Yañgot letter to Sting's US representative appealing to change the venue of the performance. Perhaps no one told Sting that said venue is owned by one who does not respect labor and the environment, you can help by telling Sting and signing the petition.

Dear Alicia,

Thank you so much for entertaining my phone call. You must receive a lot of calls everyday but you took time to listen to what I had to say. I am glad you gave me your email address. I first called Creative Artists' Agency in Los Angeles, California but I was directed to your office. I was told to speak to a certain Mr. Arthur Fogal who is a manager of Sting.

As I told you over the phone, many of us -human rights and environmental justice advocates- in the Philippines are not happy that Sting is going to hold a concert in the SM-Mall of Asia. This is not about Sting; it is about the venue. Maybe it was chosen because it is one of the world's ten biggest malls. But there are things Sting urgently needs to know.

To convince you that I am not a fraud -and I am sure you receive a lot of emails from frauds-, let me tell you a few things about me. A founding member of the National Union of Peoples' Lawyers which is the biggest organization of human rights lawyers in the Philippines, I am currently an international Hubert Humphrey fellow in the US. I am now based in the University of Minnesota. I used to be the lead lawyer in two environmental cases against SM Investment Corporation and SM Prime Holdings-the corporations which own SM Mall of Asia- because of SM's plan to cut down 182 fully grown trees to expand a mall in Baguio City, the summer capital of the Philippines. NUPL continues to litigate the cases. The site of the expansion is the very birthplace of Baguio City and is believed to have been acquired fraudulently by SM. The planned expansion was temporarily stopped after we got a temporary environmental protection order (TEPO) in April 2012 which SM defiled (which was why a spontaneous rally of more than 6000 people was held on April 10, 2012). SM had to obey the court order but not after it cut down more than 40 trees in the dead of night, behind walls to obstruct public view of what was happening while we were holding a vigil, crying and making appeals for the trees and environment. The cases are still being heard. The lead counsel is now Mr Christopher Donaal.

Sting is a well-loved musician among human rights advocates and believers all over the world including the Philippines. This is foremost because he speaks the voice of the marginalized and disadvantaged. A lot of times, it was because of him that stifled voices were amplified. This happened each time he exposed injustice, iniquity, and inequity in his songs. The world's oppressed classes owe Sting so much. And now, in behalf of the disadvantaged, we ask him to do something for them again.

There is an ongoing online petition asking Sting for a change of venue of his concert which also shows a video of the April spontaneous rally of thousands that surprised even us who made a public call for a mass indignation action. In the video, you will see the police trying to stop us because we had no permit -there was no time to get one- but we persevered and the police had no choice but to allow us although they kept close watch. This petition was initiated by Project Save 182, the movement based in Baguio City, Philippines, which NUPL is representing in court. Project Save 182 was born on January 20, 2012 when more than 5,000 people gathered to protest the planned expansion so soon after it was made known. You see, Alicia, SM and the government kept things under wraps. Public consultations as mandated by Philippine law and even international law were not conducted and the project does not bear the stamp of social acceptability. Since 20 January 2012, the people have not stopped protesting even without any financial resources. Lawyers gave their services for free. Students missed their classes to join protests. And believe it or not, our relentless opposition sparked the birth of a nationwide "Boycott SM movement." Rallies have been held all over the Philippines to support us.

I am worried that the petition might not reach Sting which is why for the last few days, I have been looking for ways to reach him. I hope I found the channel in you. Alicia, the people of a historical city of almost half a million people are fervently praying that something can be done. Please do something. Sting said and we agree wholeheartedly, "If you really want to define civilization it should be a culture that doesn't destroy its environment. If you burn down the kitchen one day and expect to eat the next, it is not even intelligent, let alone civilized."

Thank you so much,

Cheryl L. Daytec

(By the way, my FB wall is a testament to how much I love Sting. I regularly post his youtube videos.)

Sign and share the petition: Your words become empty if you perform in SM-MOA, Mr. Sting!
UPDATE: 10/19/12

Ces Rodriguez reported on Yahoo News headlined Sting stung by felled Baguio trees, drops venue of Manila concert

Nothing beats the persistence and determination of a warrior who will stop at nothing to point out the contradiction that would have passed unnoticed had Cheryl Chyt Daytec not been as committed to her cause. I salute you idol and I should find a way to clone the likes of you and we may just reach our goal of making this world a better place to live in, Mabuhay ka Chyt.

Sting will now perform at a different venue and hopefully this sends a clear message that corporate abuse will not be tolerated. Funny but what makes them think they can hold a Sting concert known for his environmental concerns? The MOA praise errrr I meant press release till the end tries to salvage their reputation below:
With this successful move to stop Sting from holding the concert at SM MOA Arena, and referring to the venue as an 'oppressor', it is now looking more like the court battle has extended from saving trees, to ruining a corporate giant’s reputation completely.

Nah, I don't think the intent was to ruin their reputation or the brand but come to think of it what reputation are they talking about? The deal is you fell some trees and you might just get hit where it hurts the most, and that's karma, LOL. 

Let me end this with Chyt's response to the numerous comment on her Facebook status update on Sting's concert:

Yes, efforts worked, it seems. Take note- there was that online petition first which Karlo Marko Altomonte initiated. It was followed by the PS182 US-based members and friend Pedro Jacobo's efforts to contact Sting and his agents here. These were followed up with more calls.

In the end, Sting listened to the voice of the oppressed. He did it in regard to his concert in Kyrgyztan before.
Let us support Sting always.
If Mr. Henry Sy's people think that someone like Sting known for this haunting song on the forcefully disappeared, they are sadly mistaken......

Read the latest development: Misleading: Footnote to STING'S SM-MOA (NON)CONCERT
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