Team formed to probe LGU execs linked to Boracay crisis

MANILAThe Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has created a 12-person special investigating team to probe and file cases against government personnel and private individuals who would be found accountable for the environmental crisis in Boracay Island.

The move is in line with President Rodrigo R. Duterte's instruction to the DILG and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to fix Boracay Island's environmental woes in six months.

DILG Officer-in-Charge Eduardo M. AAo said the Boracay Investigating Team (BIT) would do its probe on government officials and employees soon, especially those involved in giving permits to establishments.

Sisiguraduhin naming mananagot ang dapat managot. Lahat ng may direktang kinalaman sa pag-iisyu ng permits sa mga lugar na hindi na dapat tayuan ng istruktura, pati na ang mga pribadong tao na iligal na nagpapatakbo ng mga establisimyento at nakikipagkuntsaba sa mga opisyal ay hindi makakaligtas sa imbestigasyong ito (We'll make sure that those responsible would be held liable. All those directly involved in the issuance of permits to areas that are operating establishments illegally and conniving with officials will not be spared from this investigation), AAo said.

AAo also instructed the team to look into the use of the environmental fees collected by the local government if it is according to the law.

DILG Assistant Secretary for Plans and Programs Epimaco V. Densing III is the team's chairperson while, DILG Senior Executive Assistant Jerry A. Loresco of the Office of the Undersecretary for Peace and Order, Public Safety, and Policy and Programs is vice chairperson.

Their investigation shall cover a period of 10 years, reckoning from the year 2008 up to 2018. I expect them to submit a comprehensive report on the result of their probe as soon as possible, AAo said.

He said the creation of the BIT is in the exercise of DILG's supervisory power over local government units and to make sure the Boracay crisis does not happen again.

The DILG had earlier recommended placing Boracay under a state of calamity to hasten the mitigation response and rehabilitation efforts of the national government and the private sector.

The other members of the committee are Bureau of Local Government Supervision (BLGS) Director Odilon L. Pasaraba; Legal and Legislative Liaison Service (LLLS) Director Romeo P. Benitez; Trial and Investigation Division officer-in-charge Maria Elena Quebral; BLGS Policy Compliance and Monitoring Division Chief Maria Rhodora R. Flores; Frederick Lubuguin of the LLLS; Benjamin Zabala of the Internal Affairs Service; Engineer Richard Cruz of the Office of Project Development Services; DILG Regional Director Anthony Nuyda Jr.; and representatives of the Bureau of Fire Protection and Police Regional Office 6 (Western Visayas).

Source: Philippine News Agency