But in the Philippines, the links between environmental degradation and militarization are intimate. Government counterinsurgency campaigns have been most violent in the regions of the Philippines with natural and mineral resources that are largely untapped by extractive projects, whether it’s Mindanao in the south or the Cordilleras in the north. Brandon was shot because he opposed a hydropower project that would have displaced indigenous communities in the north, while to the south, indigenous Lumad leaders have been killed and schools dedicated to the teaching of sustainable agricultural practices occupied under the guise of anti-communism.
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To compare, the lost portion of the proposed 2020 calamity fund is just P500 million short of the so-called black budget (P4.5 billion), or the combined intelligence and confidential funds, of the Office of the President (OP). The OP was allocated with a P8.2-billion budget.