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Setbacks in Guimaras clean-up drive

September 5, 2006

THE SOUTHERN BEAT By Rolly Espina

IT was a shocker and it must have set back the authorities’ plan to remove the oil debris from Guimaras using barges.

The problem started when the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Guimaras discovered that the licenses of the two officers of the tugboats that will tow the barges from Guimaras were fake.

“They admitted that they were procured from Claro M. Recto Avenue in Manila, the source of many fake documents, including scholastic records and official documents,” said a PCG officer.

This only reinforced the suspicion that Petron Corp. did not conduct due diligence in contracting the ill-fated MT Solar I of the Sunshine Maritime Development Corp. (SMDC).

This was not the only setback though to the clean-up drive.

Nueva Valencia police confiscated on Saturday several sprayers and generators used by Petron that were not cleared for use in the cleanup drive.

Local authorities said they had suspected that something was wrong when they noticed that the spraying was done at night. One of the tugboats’ officers, Eddie Ededap, sheepishly admitted during interrogation that their licenses were bought from a Recto document-maker.

(Click Southern Beat for the rest of the column.)

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