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Lopez critic sues Cimatu for inaction on 2006 air quality monitors

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Lopez critic sues Cimatu for inaction on 2006 air quality monitors

/ 03:31 PM September 10, 2017

United Filipino Consumers and Commuters president RJ Javellana and Airboard Company managing partner Manuel Galvez file a complaint against Environment Secretary Gina Lopez at the Office of the Ombudsman on Jan. 10, 2017, for allegedly whitewashing irregularities in the government’s air quality monitoring contract. (FILE PHOTO BY VINCE NONATO / INQUIRER)

The complainant who sued former Environment Secretary Gina Lopez for alleged inaction over the air quality monitoring system (AQMS) in place for a decade already has gone after her successor, Secretary Roy Cimatu.

In a nine-page complaint on Friday, Airboard Company managing partner Manuel Galvez accused Cimatu of failing to respond to his letter demanding action on the allegedly defective Open Path Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (DOAS) stations procured in 2006.

The said letter was dated Sept. 3, a Sunday. It demanded a reply within only 48 hours under the threat of filing a case. Five days later, the complaint for unspecified criminal and administrative charges was filed before the Office of the Ombudsman.

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Galvez said the “lack of response, by and of itself, is already sufficient to penalize the herein respondents with appropriate sanction.”

He said Lopez created an investigating team to look into the alleged anomalies in the DOAS system exclusively supplied by Electrobyte Environmental Concerns Corp.

Galvez said the team came up with an investigation report recommending that the Environmental Management Bureau repair the AQMS, install a “reference method analyzer” to resolve doubts on its suitability, and put on hold the procurement of new equipment.

He interpreted these recommendations to mean “something was wrong with the DOAS and clearly, something was wrong with the men behind the DOAS!”

But Cimatu, Galvez said, neglected to implement the recommendations in the investigation report despite being informed of it in a June 22 letter.

Without providing evidence, the complaint alleged that “there are appearances that the same set of vested interests who succeeded at misleading and deceiving… Lopez are at it—again—out to again mislead and deceived herein respondent… Cimatu.”

The complaint also claimed to have “clearly established” the conspiracy between Cimatu, EMB Air Quality Management Section chief Jean Rosete, and engineer Teresita Peralta.

Besides Cimatu, Rosete and Peralta, the complaint also named as respondent “the undersecretary at the [Department of Environment and Natural Resources] charged with environmental matters [who] is, at the moment of this filing, an unknown personality.”

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Galvez on Jan. 10 previously filed a complaint against Lopez for allegedly dribbling the issue back to the very people allegedly involved in the purported anomalies.

READ: Lopez accused of inaction over defective air quality monitors

President Duterte appointed Cimatu as Lopez’s replacement, after her ad interim appointment was rejected by the Commission on Appointments on May 3 amid months of criticism by the mining sector over her environmentalist policies and crackdown on destructive practices. je

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TAGS: air quality monitor, Airboard, environment, Gina Lopez, Manuel Galvez, Pollution, Roy Cimatu
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