Duterte threatens arrest against uncooperative Boracay officials

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DAVAO CITY, Philippines — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte threatened to arrest local government officials in Boracay who are not cooperating with the national agencies effort to save the island from environmental hazard.

Duterte last week said reports reaching his office indicated that Boracay officials are not cooperating with the national government agencies  who are conducting survey and inspection in the ara.

“Kasi kung ayaw nila mag-cooperate and they begin to protest, eh kayo naman ang may kasalanan diyan, you were responsible for the damage all these years, pati ‘yung mga local officials who were all nonchalant of the problem there, aarestuhin ko kayong lahat,” he said.

“Sa Boracay, suplado ‘yung mga tao, ayaw mag-cooperate, And if you put up a fight then I’ll charge you for sedition, preventing government to do what is good for the Filipino people. ‘Yan lang ang maiwan ko sa kanila,” Duterte warned.

He  cited three concerns which need urgent intervention: Health, Public interest and Law and Order.

“Public interest, because kung hayaan mo ‘yang ganun, time will come when it is so polluted, it can no longer be of use for the next generation. It is to our interest to preserve its pristine state just like before,” he said.

Duterte also scored local authorities for being “nonchalant” of the problem in the island.

The mixed organic and non-organic waste along Boracay shores

Secretary Roy Cimatu of the DENR earlier ordered all his technical staff to make sure that the investigation will be comprehensive and every rules defined.

Ruther Manigos-Tawantawan, DENR XI director who is presently conducting investigation in Boracay said “The DENR kept issuing  notices of violation but the LGU and some  resort owners disregarded it.”

Tawantawan  said, the  DENR is presently evaluating the land-foreshore area, forestry settlements within wetlands and timberland, use of the critical area into sanitary landfill, among others.

The mixed organic and non-organic waste along Boracay shores

“I’m here to protect my country, I believe that if I stop this crusade, it would have compromised the country and the next generation. Then it would have been my failure in my time na wala akong ginawa,” Duterte  said.

Duterte said environmental protection is everyone’s concern.  Yet, many  LGUs were not conscious of their role in the implementation of laws and even failed to protect the people and just allowed business establishments to disregard the laws until the problem worsen.

The investigation conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) revealed, many establishments in Boracay do not have proper sewerage facility and waste directly flows to the sea water..-Editha Z. Caduaya/Newsline.ph

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