The picture on the left is the devastated section of Arroceros Forest Park where Mayor Atienza plans to construct his cherished administration building. It is not only trees that are being cut. The park’s caretaker has had the power cut off in her living area. She therefore spends every night in darkness, in the rainy season, and with a dengue outbreak raging (no power means no electric fan, so nothing to keep the mosquitos at bay).
Today's AFP story about the destruction of Arroceros is worth reading, as is the letter published on Saturday by the Winner Foundation president. But the simplest and most telling comment comes from Leo Meneses, one of the group of painters that gathers at the park every Sunday.
"I am only a painter, but I know that this place is special. When I first discovered it two years ago, I was happily surprised that in Manila's underbelly there is a forest," he said. "But now it is padlocked and trees are being murdered. I am outraged."