The NBI Environment Crime Division’s Task Force Boracay filed the complaints against Mayor Ceciro Cawaling, former mayor John Yap, municipal engineer Elizer Casidsid, municipal assessor Erlinda Casimero and provincial assesor Kokoy Soguilon before the Department of Justice on Thursday.
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Local execs in Boracay mess face criminal raps
Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - July 21, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has filed criminal complaints against incumbent and former local officials of Malay, Aklan in connection with the environmental crisis in Boracay. 

The NBI Environment Crime Division’s Task Force Boracay filed the complaints against Mayor Ceciro Cawaling, former mayor John Yap, municipal engineer Elizer Casidsid, municipal assessor Erlinda Casimero and provincial assesor Kokoy Soguilon before the Department of Justice on Thursday.

Officials of Boracay Tanawin Properties Inc., Yooringa Corp., Denichi Boracay Corp., Boracay Island West Cove Management Philippines, Correos International Inc. and Seven Seas Boracay Inc. were named respondents in the cases for violation of the Revised Forestry, Local Government and Fisheries Codes as well as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

 Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra directed the NBI to look into possible violations of environmental laws, municipal ordinances and administrative regulations of local officials in Boracay in the past 20 years.  

Last month, the Department of the Interior and Local Government filed administrative complaints against Cawaling and 16 other local officials, including Aklan Gov. Florencio Miraflores, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Valentin Talabero and Malay Vice Mayor Abram Sualog.

The local officials were charged with gross neglect of duty, conduct unbecoming of a public officer, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and grave misconduct.

Meanwhile, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)said around 7,000 persons occupying structures built on wetlands in Boracay would be relocated.

“We’ve checked that a majority of the occupants... are migrants. We can’t just tear down their homes without providing them alternative shelter,” DENR Undersecretary Jonas Leones said yesterday.

Leones said only a workers’ dormitory had so far been demolished while some residents voluntarily evacuated their homes.           

DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu said five wetlands in Boracay were occupied by illegal settlers and business establishments.

Boracay, which was closed to tourists on April 26, is set for reopening on Oct. 26.  – With Rhodina Villanueva

Related video:

BORACAY ISLAND DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
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