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Petron cover-up?

September 28, 2006

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IT seems that with the waning of national media coverage of the Guimaras oil spill from the sinking of MT Solar 1, Petron’s interest and ardor for the clean-up of the oil sludge washed upon Guimaras province’s former pristine beaches and mangrove forests have also greatly diminished.

This is lamentable since it is indisputable that Petron has the responsibility to clean up the mess created by the spill. For one, MT Solar 1 was carrying Petron’s bunker fuel bound for Zamboanga from its refinery in Bataan and also the Special Board of Marine Inquiry investigating the Solar 1 sinking has identified Petron as one of those responsible for the accident for allowing the overloading of Solar 1.

Petron has of course disputed the findings of the Board of Marine Inquiry about the overloading but it cannot escape responsibility for the cleanup and for compensating the fishermen and other Guimaras residents, whose livelihood had been adversely affected by the Solar 1/Petron oil spill.

It’s good that local media have remained vigilant in reporting Petron’s sins of commission and omission in the aftermath of the oil spill which is the worst in Philippine history and which no less than President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo herself has proclaimed as a national disaster.

One of the more galling stories about Petron’s “clean-up” effort is the one reported by David Israel Sinay in the Sept. 19 issue of Panay News, where he detailed the accusations of the head teacher of an elementary school in Barangay Tando, Nueva Valencia against Petron. Barangay Tando is one of the areas worst hit by the oil spill.

(For the full story, click Mla. Standard Today, Sept. 29, 2006.)

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