Boracay resort owner sues Ted Failon
ILOILO CITY—The owner of a controversial posh resort on Boracay Island has sued popular broadcaster Ted Failon for libel for allegedly maligning him in news reports and programs.
In a nine-page complaint filed in the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office on April 23, businessman Crisostomo Aquino accused Failon of uttering “foul language and malicious imputations” against him and his resort in the broadcaster’s “Failon Ngayon” program aired on March 28 and those in his radio program.
He said the reports were intended to “defame, malign and besmirch my person and reputation and that of Boracay West Cove,” the resort that he operates on the island.
The Inquirer tried to reach Failon for comment but a staff of his program said he was on leave.
Also named respondent was Maylynn “Nenette” Aguirre-Graf, village chief of Motag in Malay town in Aklan province, who was interviewed by Failon on alleged environmental violations in Boracay, including those of Boracay West Cove.
Graf is also a member of the board of trustees of the Boracay Foundation Inc., a group of business owners on the island.
Aquino said the two respondents uttered “libelous and malicious imputations” against him. He alleged that Failon labeled his resort the “mother of all violators” and that Graf imputed that he was continuing to operate his resort because he has backers.
Graf said she had not seen or received a copy of the complaint, but denied issuing statements to malign Aquino or his resort.
Last year, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) canceled a 25-year land use agreement with Boracay West Cove for illegal construction of structures.
The DENR canceled the Forest Land Use Agreement for Tourism Purposes (FLAgT) for putting permanent structures in an area covering 3,159 square meters which was outside the 998-sq m area covered by the lease agreement.
A FLAgT allows the temporary use, occupation and development of any forest land for tourism purposes for a period of 25 years renewable for another 25 years. It covers forest lands to be used for bathing, camp sites, ecotourism destinations, hotel sites and other tourism purposes.
West Cove has appealed the decision and has continued operating the resort.
The resort became controversial for building structures on natural rock formations and operating for years without business and building permits.
In 2014, government agencies and the local government unit of Malay, which has jurisdiction over Boracay, demolished portions of the resort considered illegal structures but the resort went to the courts to stop the demolition.
Aquino has repeatedly denied the alleged violations, alleging that he was being singled out.