NBI files case against Aklan mayor, 12 others over Boracay mess

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DAVAO CITY (July 20)  The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has filed criminal cases against Malay, Aklan mayor Ceciro Cawaling,  local government officials  and business groups before the Department of Justice over the Boracay mess.

Attorney Eric Roque, chief of the  NBI’s Environmental Crime Division filed violations of the Revised Forestry Code, Philippine Fisheries Code, and Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, against  Cawaling, former Malay Mayor John Yap, Malay municipal engineer and building official Elizer Casidsid, Kalibo, Aklan Municipal Assessor Erlinda Casimero and Aklan Provincial Assessor Kokoy Soguilon.

Also charged were Correos Internacionale Incorporated and its officers – Singaporean Lim Chee Yong, the president and CEO, Maria Christina Rumualdez, stockholder and Chair of the Board and Gene Arthur Go, stockholder and Director; Seven Seas Boracay Properties Incorporated, and Boracay Tanawin Properties Incorporated and its officers – Gregory Wells, acting president, Immanuel Sodusta, secretary and Kennelyn Gonzaga, treasurer.

Uncontrolled commercial activities contributed to the influx of tourist,  but the local government’s failed to comply  environmental laws.-Photo grabbed from DENR video

Other personalities facing charges include,  Boracay Island West Coast Management Philippines Incorporated and its officers – Crisostomo Aquino and Maria Jovita Aquino.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu earlier said  they found several illegal sewage pipes that directly discharged wastes into Boracay’s seawaters. Several establishments were also found violating the 30-meter shoreline easement rule. 

Acting Prosecutor General Richard Anthony Fadullon said the cases had been docketed and assigned to prosecutors for preliminary investigation.

The DOJ will conduct preliminary investigation to determine if the cases filed have sufficient basis to warrant the indictment of the respondents before the court.

“There were cases filed by the NBI task force that was directed to look into violations in Boracay. There were four cases that were filed with the department,” Fadullon told reporters Thursday afternoon.

Boracay lost its pristine when unscrupulous business operators  put their interest ahead  rather than protecting the environment, which is their very own source of profit.

The DENR even described the beautiful island as an “urban jungle” due  to  the massive infrastructure development in the area, a reason why President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the six months closure on April, this year.-Editha Z. Caduaya/NewsLine.ph

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