MANILA - The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Environmental Crime Division has filed another complaint before the Department of Justice (DOJ) in connection with the environmental crisis in Boracay Island that led government to order its temporary closure to local and foreign tourists.
The case for violations of the Revised Forestry Code, Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and Local Government Code is the 6th filed by the bureau’s Task Force Boracay; the first 5 cases were filed on Thursday.
Charged on Friday were Yooringa Corporation, owner of Karuna Boracay Suites located at Bgy. Balabag, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan.
Local government officials charged include Malay, Aklan Mayor Ceciron Cawaling, former Mayor John Yap, former Aklan Provincial Assessor Enrique Claudio, and present Aklan Provincial Assessor Kokoy Suguilon.
The NBI said the offenses committed by respondents are “continuing… since 1999.”
The complaint states Karuna was allowed to build its resort on forest land, and its “continued illegal occupation and indiscriminate development… resulted [in] environmental degradation, pollution and the depletion and destruction of the island’s biodiversity that greatly affected the natural resources and constitute irreparable damage.”
Earlier charged were corporate officers of Correos Internacionale, Boracay Island West Cove Management Philippines, Denichi Boracay Corporation, Seven Seas Boracay Properties, and Boracay Tanawin Properties.
Boracay island was closed to tourists on April 26 upon orders of President Rodrigo Duterte. Government is undertaking unprecedented rehabilitation on the island to address its sewage woes and zoning violations of commercial establishments, among others.
The island is set to re-open in October this year, the government said.