LLDA chief decries demolition job by fish pen operator
MANILA, Philippines—Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) General Manager Rodrigo Cabrera denied on Wednesday allegations of a fishpen operator that Cabrera and two others had extorted P300,000 from him.
Cabrera said the accusation was a “demolition job” but he said he has formed a committee to investigate the alleged involvement of the two LLDA executives in the extortion as alleged by Dr. Charlie Tan, owner of fish pens in Laguna Lake.
Tan has sent press statements to media organizations and appeared in television news claiming that Cabrera and other LLDA officials had asked for P300,000 in exchange for the approval of his request to transfer the location of his fish pens.
Seething with anger, the LLDA chief called Tan an illegal fishpen operator occupying 150 hectares of the lake. He said all Tan’s three corporations namely Abulog, Lakeside, and Marine Life have not been paying their dues to the municipality of Jalajala, Rizal, since 2009.
The corporations have also failed to secure barangay (village) permits and clearances from the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and Management Council in the area to legitimize their operations, Cabrera said.
“Why was he not showing his face? I challenge him, if he is man enough, to show his face and come up with evidence and file it in court,” Cabrera said during the Fernandina Forum in Greenhills, San Juan City, on Wednesday.
“This is a total lie, a pure prevarication. I did not enter LLDA to destroy its mandate. I came to LLDA precisely to address the long neglect of the lake,” he added.
The LLDA chief also denied claims by Tan that he and and Jalajala Mayor Ely Pillas were conniving against him.
He admitted that a brief meeting among him, the mayor, and Tan took place to settle the dispute between the two parties, but he said no money matters were ever discussed.
Cabrera, who has been the general manager of LLDA for seven months now, said he would file a libel case against the fishpen owner “in due time.”
Mayor Pillas said charges against Tan were filed in 2010 because of illegal fishing at the Laguna de Bay and the use of chicken dung as feeds.
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