Guimaras files criminal raps vs Petron, Solar I owners

September 15, 2006

By Nestor P. Burgos Jr.

ILOILO CITY – Officials of Petron Corporation and the owner of the sunken tanker Solar I face a deluge of criminal complaints filed by Guimaras officials for the massive oil spill that disrupted life on the island and damaged its environment.

Guimaras Governor JC Rahman Nava, along with other Guimaras officials filed on Thursday the first criminal complaint against Petron president Khalid Al-Faddagh and Clemente Cancio, president of Sunshine Maritime Development Corporation (SDMC), for allegedly violating at least three environmental laws.

The complaint also named as respondents Petron chairman and chief executive officer Nicasio Alcantara, vice president for operations Felimon Antiporda and health safety and environment officer and spokesman Carlos Tan.

The respondents were accused of violating Republic Act 9275 (Clean Water Act of 2004), Republic Act 8749 (Clean Air Act of 1999) and Republic Act 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000).

In a related development, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez has ordered the conduct of a formal preliminary investigation of the incorporators of Sunshine Maritime Development Corporation (SMDC), owner of the M/T Solar I that sank off Guimaras Island last August 11 and triggered one of the worst oil spills in the country.

“In the interest of the public service and pursuant to the provisions of existing laws, a panel of prosecutors is hereby constituted…to conduct the preliminary investigation…and if evidence warrants, to file the information before the appropriate court and to prosecute the same,” Gonzalez said in his order.

The panel is composed of Guimaras assistant provincial prosecutor Fidel Macauyag, chairman, and state prosecutors Florencio Dela Cruz Jr. and Ramon Chito Mendoza. with Tetch Torres

(For the full stories, click Criminal raps and Preliminary investigation, Sept. 15, 2006.)


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