DENR official hits ‘erroneous’ filing of Boracay complaint | Inquirer News
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‘WRONGLY ACCUSED’

DENR official hits ‘erroneous’ filing of Boracay complaint

/ 05:17 AM July 04, 2018

CASH-FOR-WORK Residents of Boracay are hired by the Department of Labor and Employment to clean the resort island’s beaches under the government’s cash-for-work program. —LYN RILLON

ILOILO CITY — An official of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is mulling filing countercharges against an undersecretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for what he called an “erroneous” filing of a complaint against him and other officials of Aklan province for the environmental problems of Boracay Island.

Valentin Talabero, provincial environment and natural resources officer (Penro) of Aklan, said he was also demanding an apology from Interior Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III for maligning his reputation.

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“My family, my wife, children and relatives are hurt. They could not accept this. How will he (Densing) feel if I also do this to him?” Talabero said.

The Inquirer tried to reach Densing for comment but he did not reply to queries on Monday.

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Unregulated development

Talabero told reporters here that he was surprised he was among the 17 respondents of administrative and criminal complaints filed last week by the DILG in the Office of the Ombudsman.

The respondents were blamed for the unregulated development of Boracay Island and for their failure to implement laws and ordinances that led to the environmental degradation of the island.

Talabero said it was impossible for him to be liable for the violations in Boracay because he was assigned to Aklan only on Feb. 14 or just a few days after President Duterte ordered the closure of the island to tourists.

“I have been in (government) service for 37 years. I was to retire but the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) asked me to stay because of Boracay … This is the first complaint filed (against me),” said Talabero, who was previously assigned to Capiz province.

Wrongly accused

He said he was also wrongly accused of violating the Local Government Code when the enforcement of the law was not within the mandate of the DENR but of local governments.

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Aside from Talabero, also named respondents were Aklan Gov. Florencio Miraflores, Mayor Ciceron Cawaling, Vice Mayor Abram Sualog and eight councilors, all of Malay town.

Talabero said he was part of the interagency task force implementing the rehabilitation activities and projects in Boracay. He said he was the one who issued show cause orders to owners of 842 structures on forestland and conducted an inventory of inhabitants on wetlands.

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TAGS: Boracay cleanup, Boracay closure, DENR, DILG, Valentin Talabero
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