Resistance to coal stockpiling leads to Gloria Capitan's murder, Bataan, Philippines

She opposed the construction of coal stockpile facilities as leader of the local anti-coal movement, member of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice. She was shot in July 2016.


Gloria Capitan, 57 years old, was one of the leaders of the Coal-Free Bataan Movement and the President of United Citizens of Lucanin Association (Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Mamamayan ng Lucanin), a community-based organisation that has peacefully opposed the operation and expansion of coal plants and open storage facilities in the Mariveles neighbourhood which have had harmful consequences for the local population. "Ate Glo" (as people called her) was very active in the fight against coal and led in a series of mass actions and petitions calling for a permanent closure of a coal stockpile in their village.

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Basic Data
NameResistance to coal stockpiling leads to Gloria Capitan's murder, Bataan, Philippines
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Coal extraction and processing
Thermal power plants
Specific CommoditiesCoal
Project Details and Actors
Project Details"According to reports, because of intense opposition from Mariveles residents, the coal companies have allegedly resorted to intimidation, creating tension and fear in the affected communities.

The Bataan province is the home of two coal power plants and two open coal storage facilities. The further expansion of coal production in the region is underway with the commissioning of at least three new coal power plants by 2017. The heavy coal production in Bataan has resulted in the severe pollution of the area and the destruction of the coastline and of the sea bed. The local population, including the villagers from Lucanin where Gloria Capitan resided, suffer from skin allergies and respiratory diseases, which may be caused by the toxic coal ash that remains after the burning of coal in power plants" (Frontline Defenders). There are 15 coal-fired power plants that operate in the country and 29 more are proposed.[1].

The coal storage facility in Mariveles is run by Sea Front Shipyard Services, Inc, a subsidiary of Limay Bulk and Handling Terminal. Capitan also fought actively against the expansion of coal plants in Bataan province.
Level of Investment (in USD)Some data on financing in Reuters [5]
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Start Date2015
Company Names or State EnterprisesSea Front Shipyard Services, Inc. from Philippines
Aboitiz Power Corp from Philippines
Relevant government actorsProvincial government of Bataan
International and Financial InstitutionsTokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd from Japan
DBS Bank Ltd from Singapore
Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd (HSBC) from Hong Kong SAR, China
Environmental justice organisations and other supporters- United Citizens of Lucanin Association (Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Mamamayan ng Lucanin)

- Coal-Free Bataan Movement

- Philippines Movement for Climate Justice

- Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED)

- Archdiocesan Movement for the Environment (AMEn)

- Kilusan Para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KILUSAN)

The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingInternational ejos
Local government/political parties
Local scientists/professionals
Religious groups
Forms of MobilizationCommunity-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Global warming, Other Environmental impacts
Potential: Noise pollution, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Mine tailing spills, Fires, Waste overflow, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Other Destruction of seabed and coastal area. Clinker and ash in beaches and elsewhere. Also, explicit awareness of the link from coal burning to climate change, as shown by the presence of the Philippines Movement for Climate Justice.
Health ImpactsVisible: Other environmental related diseases, Other Health impacts
Potential: Occupational disease and accidents
OtherRespiratory illnesses. Skin diseases.
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in violence and crime, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Displacement
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseDeaths
Court decision (undecided)
Violent targeting of activists
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Gloria Capitan, a woman leader of the local anti-coal campaign was shot by unkown killers, in her bar, in front of two of her grandchildren.
Sources and Materials

Frontline Defenders. Case history: Gloria Capitan.
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[1] Coal activist’s murder fuels ‘green’ movement. Philippine Daily Inquirer /July 16, 2016

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Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook
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[2] An Appeal for Support for Gloria Capitan – Coal-Free Bataan Movement, Philippines. Posted July 6, 2016 by Bob Burton
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[3]Fear and uncertainty after Filipina anti-coal activist murder
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Sourcewatch: Mariveles Power Plant
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[5] Reuters: Philippines' AboitizPower to buy power plant stakes for $1.2 bln
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Media Links

Coal power plants in Bataan commit human rights violations. Ash fall is just the tip of the iceberg. Residents of a Bataan town are facing violence and harassment amidst the fight against their eviction from their own land to accommodate the new coal-fired power plants. Renee Juliene Karunungan. August 05, 2015
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Lifegate. Gloria Capitan fought against coal. She was shot in the Philippines. 11 Jul 2016. By Andrea Barolini
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Urgent Appeal: The EJK of Gloria Capitan, HRD and president of the Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Mamamayan ng Lucanin (SNML) in Mariveles, Bataan
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[4] Anti-coal groups sound alarm about 13 activist deaths, Verde Island Passage ecology. By: Tricia Aquino, July 16, 2016
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Other Documents

Justice for Gloria Capitan,
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Gloria Capitan
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Public protest for the murder of the activist
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Other CommentsMessage from Coal-Free Bataan Movement:

Dear Friends,

We are from the Coal-Free Bataan Movement, writing to seek your earnest support for our slain leader, environmentalist and anti-coal activist, shot and killed by two still unidentified motorcycle-riding men in Brgy. Lucanin, Mariveles, Bataan in her home last Friday, July 1, 2016.

Gloria Capitan was 57 years old, mother of 5 children and a doting grandmother to 18 grandchildren. Her husband, Efren Capitan, who suffered a mild stroke in the past, is a barangay councilor at present.

Like a big sister (or ‘ate’), Ate Glo is a warm and kind-hearted woman to every colleague in the anti-coal movement. Her positive character and perseverance has brought hope in the struggle of the people of Bataan against the huge enemy that is coal. Her untimely demise will surely be felt in the anti-coal movement in the province.

“Titigil lang ako pag pikit na ang mata ko! Ano pa ba ang magagawa ko e patay na ako. Hindi ito para sa akin, kundi para sa mga apo ko, masakit ang loob ko kapag nakikita ko silang nagkakasakit”. [I will only stop when my eyes close! What else could I do when I am dead? This is not for my sake, but for my grandchildren, my heart breaks whenever I see them sick!].

Aware of the threats to her life, Ate Glo’s words best describe her struggle against the coal storage in her village in Brgy. Lucanin, Mariveles, Bataan. [2]
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ContributorEJAtlas editorial team, based on
Last update16/05/2017