MANILA, Philippines — Two island workers filed before the Supreme Court Wednesday a petition seeking to stop the impending closure of Boracay Island on April 26.
Represented by the National Union of People’s Lawyers, the workers filed a petition for prohibition and mandamus against President Rodrigo Duterte, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and DILG Secretary Eduardo Año.
“We are requesting the status quo ante order in order to restore the condition prior to the closure,” NUPL-Panay’s legal counsel Atty Angelo Karlo Guillen said.
The petitioners argued that tourists will be deprived of their rights to travel as well as the residents of their rights to enter Boracay. They also claim that prohibition to enter the island may only be applied on the condition of threat to national security, public safety, and public health. They express particular concern on the welfare of workers in the island who will be losing their jobs once the closure pushes through.
“It violates the right to due process of all those persons who are earning a living in Boracay island,” Guillen said.
NUPL requested the anonymity of the petitioners for security reasons. They are confident that the Highest Court will take their side on the issue.
“Absolutely No Merit”
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Malacañang sees the petition as “absolutely no merit for any private party to restrain the closure of Boracay” noting that “SC itself has previously ruled that Boracay is owned primarily by the state.”
The Palace official stressed that “the closure is because of the inherent police power of the state to protect the environment in Boracay.”
Roque concluded that “Unless a TRO is issued, the planned closure of Boracay to tourists shall proceed.” — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue
MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) reported the arrest on September 4 of an Indian national employed as a chef without a permit and visa in the tourist island of Boracay.
Accoridng to BI, the alien was identified as Vincent Joseph Mondal, 42, an allegedly overstaying and undocumented foreign worker.
Intelligence Division Acting Chief Fortunato Manahan Jr said Mondal was arrested while at work at Namaster Restaurant located beside the Boracay public market where he had been working as chief cook.
“He was unable to present his passport or any travel document when our agents confronted him to verify his immigration status,” Manahan said.
The BI discovered that Mondal was an illegal entrant as he entered the country through the backdoor and did not undergo inspection by immigration authorities.
It was also determined that Mondal had been banned from entering the country and placed on the immigration blacklist over a similar case of overstaying and failure to pay the assessed fines and penalties some time in 2013.
Mondal is now detained at the BI detention center while summary deportation proceedings are being undertaken.
Malacañang on Thursday (Aug 15) reminded tourists — both locals and foreign nationals — to follow rules implemented in the Philippines.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo expressed disappointment over the incident in Boracay where a foreign tourist allowed her son to poop in the shoreline then buried the dirty diaper in the sand.
“It’s a violation. Of course, we are not happy about that. That is not good because we are supposed to be cleaning it then some people are messing it up, right? That’s not good,” Panelo said.
He added that violators will face charges if they do not follow the rules.
“Well, there are rules and regulations in that place. So everyone is expected to—whether foreigner or Filipino tourists alike, they have to follow rules and that obviously is a violation so they would be subject to suits,” he added.
Panelo also suggested placing portable restrooms to help the tourists.—AAC
The Office of the President has distanced itself from the Supreme Court (SC) decision that lifted the temporary restraining order (TRO) on the hearing of the case against former president Benigno Aquino III on the Mamasapano encounter.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo has refused to further comment on the issue as the palace would not want to be accused of meddling with the decision of the judiciary which is a co-equal branch of government.
“[W]e refuse to comment on the action undertaken by the Supreme Court, which belongs to a separate and independent branch of government from ours. We cannot and we do not intend to interfere with the functions of other branches which are distinct from the Executive,” Panelo said.
The palace, he added, would rather see the judicial process roll on its own accord.
“We will, as usual, let the law take its course,” Panelo said. (with details from Rosalie Coz) /mbmf
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