Save 182 petitioned Sting to boycott SM and move his upcoming concert in Manila to a different venue by bringing SM City Baguio's expansion project that threatens 182 trees on Luneta Hill. The world-renowned musician and environmentalist eventually moved his concert out of SM-MOA and to Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Immediately, SM went on a PR blitz, claiming that the movement misinformed Sting about the Luneta Hill issue. And while most international media outfits reported the news about Sting's support of the protest movement, local media outfits focused on SM's allegation of misinformation.
“For the record, SM Baguio City plans to redevelop its facilities in order to address an urgent topsoil erosion problem covering its private property to protect the integrity of its Baguio mall,” SMPH was quoted by a news report in response to Sting's decision.
This, while their own witness has testified in court that the alleged top soil erosion problem on Luneta Hill has no effect whatsoever on their mall in Baguio.
So, who's misinforming who?
SM's statement also reportedly said that, “In the process of the planned rip-rapping of the sloping area at the back of the mall, 182 trees will be scientifically earth-balled under close supervision by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and UP Los Baños forestry experts.”
Oxford Dictionaries define rip-rapping as "loose stone used to form a foundation for a breakwater or other structure." Can a building complex with a 4-storey and a 5-storey structure be considered rip-rapping? No, they are not rip-rapping, they are carving out that side of Luneta Hill for their expansion project.
Pray tell, who's misinforming who?
Earlier this year, they claimed over and over again that their expansion plan is LEED-certified. They have since changed their tune now claiming that it is actually merely LEED-registered, after a member of the Save 182 movement received a letter from the US Green Building Council stating that while SM has applied for it, the US-based organization has not issued a certification.
No, really, who's misinforming who?
On the night of April 10, they continued the removal of trees they started the previous night, claiming that they have yet to receive the TEPO issued by the court earlier that day. The truth is, they refused to receive the court's order here in Baguio, claiming that it should be served to their lawyers in Manila. This despite the fact that other official communications regarding their project from other government agencies were received here in Baguio, except the TEPO.
Come on, who's misinforming who?
“The issue on the relocation of the trees within the privately owned SM Baguio property, is pending before a Baguio court, and SM is focused on defending its legal rights,” SM further said.
And so are we - determined to defend our city from corporate greed. It's our moral obligation and right to do so.