Insult to Gov. Nava

September 11, 2006

Panay News
Sept. 11, 2006

PETRON’s financial help to the province of Guimaras does not go directly to Gov. Rahman Nava but passes through other government agencies, like the DSWD and DOH. Petron also hires directly daily laborers to clean the beaches and pay them.

This style takes away the direct linkage of the governor with the natives of the island and deprives him of his executive functions for the people he serves. To him – even though he does not express his outward feelings – what the company does is an insult to his position as provincial executive. What a way to humiliate the honorable official before the public!

We believe that this is one of the many irritants between the governor on one hand, and Petron/Sunshine Maritime Development Corp. on the other hand.

It is deplorable to note that the two companies try to dilly-dally the release of their financial obligations to the victims of the mammoth oil sludge that has destroyed and continues to destroy the marine life, environment and tourism opportunities in the island.

Until now, the governor has remained patient over the sweet promises of Petron officials for financial assistance, which have not been fulfilled until press time. In fact, he has stretched the limits of his patience. He should have filed a one-billion peso damage suit last week yet, which he postponed due to the assurances made by Petron officials that “immediately” they would effect the release of some amount as partial settlement. They assured him that within a week’s time they would fulfill their commitments. That is the reason why the governor has withheld his planned legal action against Petron and Sunshine. He has also avoided negative publicity so as not to undermine the amicable negotiation.

But it is one month now since August 11 when the Solar l sank into the seabed with l.8 million liters of bunker fuel.

Contrary to what they assured the governor many times, all are mere talks, just nice, convincing words and sweet but empty promises. They are nothing, after all.

It is obvious that Petron and Sunshine Maritime Development Corp., owner of the ill-fated Solar 1, are buying time until such time when their insurer/s takeover the problem of indemnifying the victims. They do not want to pay from their own pockets because they think that, after all, it is their insurer/s or the oil universal funds that would take care of all the mess that they created. They actually shun from their principal liabilities so as to obviate financial losses.

Indeed, for lack of sincerity, they would take the governor for a ride.

We have it from reliable sources that on Tuesday or Wednesday this week, the case will be filed in the court of Guimaras to prove to all and sundry that the governor means business. He will prove to his constituents that he is not joking. This is one way also to protect the interest and welfare of the people and the province in general.

If the governor continues to wait and wait, people might think he has been “bought” Petron.


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