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Teddyboy to Guimarasnons: Sue Petron now

September 5, 2006

•Embarrassing if WV doesn’t take legal action, says solon

By HAZEL P. VILLA
and RYAN B. LACHICA

ILOILO City – It would be truly embarrassing if the local governments of Western Visayas (WV) don’t take legal actions against those responsible for the Philippines’ worst oil spill, said Cong. Teddy Boy Locsin (Makati)yesterday.

“The leaders in the areas affected by the oil spill should at least do (take legal action) so by now. The legal action should be at the same speed in which the impeachment proceeding against the President was referred to the committee,” said Locsin in a telephone interview. Locsin is a lawyer by training.

Meanwhile, local government units in Negros Occidental have been directed to submit a report on expenses incurred in preparation for the possible reaching of the Guimaras oil spill in their territorial waters.

In issuing the directive, the provincial government said it wants to make sure that the P5 million released by the Office of the Civil Defense for the purpose would be fairly shared by the local governments.

Provinces composing Western Visayas are Guimaras, Iloilo, Aklan, Antique, Capiz and Negros Occidental – with the waters of Iloilo and Negros under direct threat of being further polluted by the bunker fuel oil that leaked out of oil tanker MT Solar 1 that sank in southern Guimaras on August 11.

Locsin said it is the duty of the mayors, governors and congressmen of WV to take or call for legal actions against those responsible for the oil spill considering that Petron Corp. is denying its legal liability for the spill.

The congressman said he advised Guimaras Gov. JC Rahman Nava to sue oil refiner Petron Corp. for negligence.

Although that threat of the oil spill seems to have remained just that, the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental is not taking chances.

Gov. Joseph Marañon said local governments would be given funds “according to their needs.”

As this developed, the coconut husks that the provincial government ordered from Dumaguete City had arrived and is being distributed to coastal towns; coconut husk can be used in making spill booms.

(Click Panay News, Sept. 5, 2006, for the rest of the pieces.)

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