The National Bureau of Investigation has filed criminal cases against Malay, Aklan Mayor Ceciro Cawaling as well several local officials and corporations at the Department of Justice in Manila for their role in the deterioration of the world-renowned island-resort Boracay.
The NBI 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 officials Singaporean Lim Chee Yong, the president and chief executive officer, Maria Christina Rumualdez, stockholder and chairman of the board, and Gene Arthur Go, stockholder and director; Seven Seas Boracay Properties Inc., Boracay Tanawin Properties Inc. and its officials Gregory Wells, acting president, Immanuel Sodusta, secretary, and Kennelyn Gonzaga, treasurer; and Boracay Island West Coast Management Philippines Inc. and its officials Crisostomo Aquino and Maria Jovita Aquino.
Acting Prosecutor General Richard Anthony Fadullon said the cases have 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 said.
President Duterte had ordered the closure of Boracay to tourists for six months starting April 26 to pave the way for its rehabilitation.
Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu 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. (PNA)