DILG files graft and other charges vs 17 Aklan execs for Boracay mess

This March 22, 2012, photo shows a polluted Bulabog Beach on Boracay Island.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday filed administrative and criminal complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman against 17 officials of Aklan in connection with illegal development and environmental violations on the Boracay Island.

DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III said local officials facing violation of Local Government Code and Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for neglect of duty, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of public service  are Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores, Malay, Aklan Mayor Ciceron Cawaling, Vice Mayor Abram Sualog and Sanguniang Bayan members Natalie Cawaling-Paderes, Jupiter Aelred Gallenero, Frolibar Bautista, LLoyd Maming, Dalidig Sumndad, Maylynn Aguirre-Graf, Danilo Delos Santos and Dante Pagsuguiron.

Also, included as respondents are Penro Talabero of the Aklan provincial government, licensing officer III Jen Salsona, Menro Edgardo Sancho of the municipal government, Barangay Chairmen Hector Casidsid of Barangay Yapak, Chona Gabay of Barangay Manoc-Manoc and Lilibeth Sacapano of Barangay Balabag.

The DILG official said several establishments on the island were operating even without mayor’s permit, including Fire Code and Building Code, and necessary environmental clearance.

In a separate TV interview, Densing said the DILG will file more charges against current and former officials of the province of Aklan after the release of the special audit report conducted by the Commission on Audit on the environmental fees collected in Boracay in the last 5 years.

The DILG, meanwhile, asked the Ombudsman to impose preventive suspension against all the respondents pursuant to the Ombudsman Act of 1989 in view of the gravity and seriousness of the travesty committed by all the respondents.

Last week, the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force, during a hearing conducted by the House committee on natural resources, said Boracay is expected to reopen on October 26 after six-month rehabilitation.

According to the task force, headed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Boracay as planned will be reopened for tourism and other economic activities on October 26, but only for establishments compliant with government regulations.


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