‘State of national calamity’ declared over oil spill

August 25, 2006

By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez

PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared a state of national calamity on Friday over the Guimaras oil spill and called on concerned government agencies to step up work on the environmental and health problems caused by the disaster.
“I am declaring the Guimaras oil spill as a national calamity that demands the cooperation and solidarity of all Filipinos. Let us do what has to be done first and deal with the blame later,” Arroyo said in a speech at the national convention of the National Prosecutors League of the Philippines in Cebu.

She also called on Petron Corporation and the owner of the sunken tanker Solar I to “immediately clean up the mess.”

Asked if the President was merely describing the situation or actually making an official declaration, Presidential Chief of Staff Michael Defensor told INQ7.net it was an “official declaration.”

Arthur Yap, chief of the Presidential Management Staff, also confirmed the statement as an official declaration meant to allow Arroyo to mobilize all the resources needed to address the crisis wrought by the country’s worst oil spill.

(Originally published on INQ7 web site, Aug. 25, 2006. Click here for rest of the story.)

IT’S ABOUT TIME! 13 days and counting Mrs. President!


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