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This takes the cake!

August 29, 2006

It’s now ‘Solar oil spill’

By Christine Avendaño

INAMPULUGAN ISLAND, Guimaras – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said yesterday the oil spill that hit Guimaras Island should be called the “Solar oil spill.”

“Let us not call it the Guimaras oil spill. Guimaras should not be blamed for it,” she said in Filipino during a media pool interview at the Costa Aguada island resort here.

Ms. Arroyo underscored the need to tell the public that the spill did not cover the whole of Guimaras Island.

While the incident has resulted in 300 cancellations of reservations in some beach resorts, she said that authorities all the more should work to restore the people’s confidence in the island’s tourist attraction.

She said she was inviting Lory Tan, of the World Wide Fund for Nature, to join Task Force Guimaras in supervising rehabilitation efforts and cited the need for more scientific studies to help the affected areas.

Tourism Secretary Ace Durano, who suggested changing the appellation of the spill, told the President at a meeting of the task force that the spill affected only seven of the 24 beach resorts on the island.

Tan told reporters he and the others at the meeting agreed to the change of the spill’s name.

“If we say Guimaras oil spill, we’re going to kill Guimaras,” Tan said. “If we say MT Solar I, at least the tanker has sunk.”

He noted that the massive oil spill that happened in Alaska in 1989 was referred to as the Exxon Valdez oil spill after the tanker that caused the disaster.

Some reporters witnessed an irritated President telling certain people that she wanted the media to see a resort not affected by the oil spill. The Costa Aguada resort has been affected by the spill, as evidenced by spill booms deployed nearby. (See earlier post below)

(Click PDI for the story, published Aug. 29, 2006.)

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ARE these guys serious? How many hours did this presidential task force meet yesterday, and at a beautiful resort at that, only to come up with a laughable decision like this? Puro swimming lang ang ginawa nyo ano?

Why can’t we call it “Petron oil spill”? Obviously the government is already staging the scenario where only the oil tanker’s owners will be found responsible for the oil spill, while Petron officials will just be slapped on the wrist.

I wouldn’t put it past Gloria. After all, Nick Alcantara is the brother of Tommy Alcantara, former Trade and Industry Undersecretary and no. 1 GMA superfan. Tommy and Nick belong to a powerful and influential Alcantara family from the south with businesses in several industries under the Alsons Group of Companies. Tommy also heads the de-facto Philippine Embassy in Taiwan called the Manila Economic Cooperation Office.

And of course, Gloria is buddy-buddy with Saudi Aramco President and CEO Abdallah S. Jum’ah, whose facilities she visited last May.

nm_aroyyo_05102006.jpg
Abdallah S. Jum’ah takes Philippines President Gloria Arroyo on a tour of Saudi Aramco’s Shaybah facilities. (Photo by Hadi A. Al-Makayyal/Saudi Aramco Click here.)

By the way, Nick, weren’t you once treasurer and director of All Asia Capital and Trust Corp., that ill-fated investment company of Roland Young which went belly up in the late 90s? Didn’t you guys the blame the Asian financial crisis for your woes? How convenient. Well, weren’t you lucky to be appointed to Petron right after that disaster?

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Here’s Nick Alcantara at a Petron press conference on Aug. 24. Remember the name, remember the face. (Bullit Marquez/AP)

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One comment

  1. she’s one fucked upped president. like the time dick cheney shotgunned a lawyer. but this is WAY too serious to be playing word games. come to think of it…..nahhh.



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