Aklan gov, 16 others face graft over Boracay neglect

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) filed graft and administrative charges against Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores, Malay Mayor Ciceron Cawaling, and 15 other municipal officials on Wednesday, June 27, for neglect of duty that turned Boracay into what President Rodrigo Duterte described as a “cesspool.”

 Other provincial officials facing charges are Penro Valentin Talabero, Vice Mayor Abram L. Sualog, Sangguniang Bayan Members Natalie Cawaling-Paderes, Jupiter Aelred Gallenero, Frolibar Bautista, Lloyd Maming, Dalidig Sumndad, Maylynn Aguirre-Graf, Danilo Delos Santos, and Dante Pagsuguiron; Licensing Officer III Jen Salsona, Menro Edgardo Sancho, and Punong Barangays Hector Casidsid of Barangay Yapak, ChonaGabay of Barangay Manoc-Manoc, and Lilibeth Sacapano of Barangay Balabag.

 According to DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III, Milaflores has “general supervision over all component cities and municipalities in the province of Aklan” and failed when he allowed the proliferation of illegal establishments.

 The preventive suspension of the said officials is currently being sought by the DILG for reportedly causing undue injury to the government and administratively liable for grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, conduct unbecoming of public officials and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

 Said officials failed to manage Boracay’s cleanliness and even issued business permits to establishments that did not comply with the requisite Fire Safety and Business Code.

 Densing said the alleged anomalous transaction involving the collection of environmental fees in Boracay in the last five years was not included in the charges filed.

He also said that the DILG is just waiting for the result a special audit by the Commission on Audit (COA) of the environmental fees to see if they can file another set of charges.

“This is just the first tranche. We are talking about administrative and criminal charges against incumbent officials,’’ Densing said. 

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