SM Group has started cutting down trees around SM City Baguio early Tuesday for its expansion program, that will bring death to 182 trees on Luneta Hill in the area.
Netizens have expressed disappointment on the SM Group's move.
A Facebook page, "Boycott SM everywhere", was even created to call for the SM Group's management to stop the plan, else will boycott SM malls throughout the country:
Until they stop their expansion project that will result in the death of 182 trees on Luneta Hill, Baguio City, until they start improving the working conditions of their employees, until they moderate their greed - BOYCOTT SM AND ITS AFFILIATES!
According to Facebook user Karlo Marko Altomonte, a Baguio City resident, more than 7 trees have been cut at around 4 a.m.
"Backhoes started rolling in, perimeter fenced, even the verandas on all floors have been covered to hide the murder of 182 trees on Luneta Hill."
Various Twitter users have also expressed their views:
"People, let's make #SaveBaguioPineTrees trend. Make your disdain for SM Baguio felt. @Jimparedes @sam_yg @piacayetano @carlosceldran", tweeted Angelo Ezperanzate (@pananaghoy)
"Our heart bleeds as SM #Baguio started cutting trees in Luneta Hill http://bit.ly/HvqUKi #Save182", tweeted independent global environment group Greenpeace Philippines. (@gpph)
Stage and TV actor Ping Medina meanwhile tweeted: "Mr. Henry Sy, hindi mo naman madadala ang SM Baguio sa Langit. Katarantaduhan ang desisyon na yun. Pero ipapagdasal ko pa rin kaluluwa niyo."
UPDATE (from Altomonte): "Baguio RTC Branch 6 granted our motion for a Temporary Environmental Protection Order... no construction for the next 3 days... in the meantime, we argue for a status quo while the actual case is being heard... we can still do this!"