Bohol gov contests suspension over Chocolate Hills mess

Bohol gov contests suspension over Chocolate Hills mess

/ 05:02 AM June 14, 2024

Bohol gov contests suspension over Chocolate Hills mess


TAGBILARAN CITY — Bohol Gov. Erico Aristotle Aumentado has asked the Office of the Ombudsman to reconsider its decision to suspend him for six months pending an investigation on the construction of a resort within the Chocolate Hills, a protected area and the province’s leading tourism attraction.

Aumentado, through his lawyers on June 10, filed a motion for reconsideration seeking to lift the preventive suspension order issued against him and for the antigraft office to conduct a fair and thorough investigation.


READ: Ombudsman suspends Bohol gov, 68 others over Chocolate Hills fiasco 


“This motion aims to protect my rights and ensure that the principles of due process are upheld. The people of Bohol deserve a government that is transparent and just. I am fully committed to protecting the Chocolate Hills, as it truly is a natural wonder,” Aumentado said in a statement.

He said he had no hand in approving permits secured by Captain’s Peak Garden and Resort in Sagbayan Town, as the resort’s development started in 2018 when he was still a lawmaker representing Bohol’s second congressional district.

He also pointed out that he was not invited to or had attended the Protected Area Management Board meeting on July 14, 2022, where the resolution endorsing the development of Captain’s Peak was approved.

“It is not fair to hold me accountable for decisions made without my knowledge or participation,” he said.

“There is no document or act that links me to the approval or support of the resort’s construction, operation, and expansion. My conscience is clear. I have no hand in that fiasco, whatsoever.” Aumentado was among 69 government officials slapped with a six-month preventive suspension by the Office of the Ombudsman on May 20.

The Ombudsman said Captain’s Peak was constructed, operated, and developed without the required Environmental Impact Assessment, Environmental Compliance Certificate and Special Use Agreement in Protected Areas from the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).


The resort had been issued mayor’s, business, building, and locational permits from 2020 to 2024 despite its repeated failure to secure permits and clearances from the DENR. —LEO UDTOHAN 

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TAGS: Bohol, Chocolate Hills

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