NBI files raps vs. Aklan town mayor, others on Boracay mess

MANILA — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has filed criminal cases against Malay, Aklan mayor Ceciro Cawaling, as well several local officials and corporations, at the Department of Justice (DOJ) 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 Incorporated 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 Incorporated, and Boracay Tanawin Properties Incorporated and its officers – Gregory Wells, acting president, Immanuel Sodusta, secretary and Kennelyn Gonzaga, treasurer.

On Friday, the NBI Environmental Crime Division filed the sixth complaint against Yooringa Corporation for violations of the Revised Forestry Code, Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and Local Government Code.

Charged were Yooringa Corporation, owner of Karuna Boracay Suites located at Bgy. Balabag, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, and its present officers namely Georgina Marie Piit- chairperson/president and CEO; Shirley Ramos Mamburang, treasurer; Evangeline Quevedo De Leon, chief of staff; Cristina De Peralta, member, board of directors; and Jerome Briones, authorized representative of Melvin Robert Latter.

Also charged were its former officers, incorporators, and Board of Directors members, Boracay Island West Coast Management Philippines Incorporated 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,” Fadullon told reporters Thursday afternoon.

President Rodrigo R. 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. PNA-northboundasia.com