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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

NBI files raps vs Aklan mayor, others on Boracay

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The National Bureau of Investigation has filed criminal cases against Malay, Aklan Mayor Ceciro Cawaling and several local officials and corporations at the Department of Justice for their role in the deterioration of world-renowned island-resort Boracay in Aklan.

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 Inc. and its officers—Singaporean Lim Chee Yong, the president and CEO, Maria Christina Rumualdez, stockholder and chairman of the Board and Gene Arthur Go, stockholder and Director; Seven Seas Boracay Properties Inc., and Boracay Tanawin Properties Inc. and its officers—Gregory Wells, acting president, Immanuel Sodusta, secretary and Kennelyn Gonzaga, treasurer.

Also charged were Boracay Island West Coast Management Philippines Inc. and its officers—Crisostomo Aquino and Maria Jovita Aquino.

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.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered the closure of Boracay to tourists for six months starting April 26 to pave the way for its rehabilitation.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu previously 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.

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