The Catholic Herald reports that Sister Aloha Vergara of the Handmaids of the House of God in the Philippines is behind movie actor Leonardo DiCaprio all the way. Upon winning his first Academy Award in February, he made a plea on behalf of the environment and condemned the “politics of greed.” Sister Vergara recently attended a conference at which Catholic and Protestant religious and environmental activists denounced alleged human rights violations in a mining town in the northern Philippines. She said we need to “support those who speak for all those who are affected of corporate greed and the destruction of the environment,” including high-profile advocates such as DiCaprio.
Redemptorist Brother Ciriaco Santiago, convener of an anti-mining group in Manila, hopes that environmental issues will be important to citizens in upcoming national elections. He believes DiCaprio's message about the environment came at a perfect time, especially because the country's resources have been abused and health conditions have worsened.
“Actions and programs that destroy creation [are] an attack on the Church’s mission; therefore, the Church should be in the front line to protect people who go against these plunderers of the environment,” said Lito Latorre, coordinator of the Philippine Redemptorists’ Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation program.