Facebook posts on Cimatu puts former gov’t official in hot water

Published June 27, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Saturday assailed the social media posts of a former Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) official alleging irregularity in Secretary Roy Cimatu’s recent trip to Cebu City.

DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu (DENR / MANILA BULLETIN)
DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu

“That’s nothing but fake news,” DENR Undersecretary and spokesman Benny Antiporda said in reaction to the allegations of former CFO chair Imelda Nicolas made on Facebook last June 25.

Antiporta said the DENR is already studying the possibility of filing a case for cyber libel against Nicolas for spreading false information on social media.

In her Facebook post, Nicolas alleged that “70 rooms were reserved at Seda Hotel for Cimatu’s team.

She also pointed out that the cheapest room in the said hotel costs P5,000. “That’s P300,000 a day. For 1 week, that’s 2.240 m (million),” she stated in her post.

“This is just rooms. Cost of accommodation. You still have to factor in food and transportation,” Nicolas further said. “How many PPEs (personal protective equipment) and test kits can that buy? How many sacks of rice can that buy? Is this how you rid yourself of blame? Is this how you save lives?”

Antiporda dismissed Nicolas’ claims as “utterly baseless, unfounded, untrue, and malicious.”

“What 70 rooms she was talking about? Secretary Cimatu went to Cebu with just one aide,” Antiporda explained, adding that “Secretary Cimatu is a decent man.”

“As a former soldier, he has developed a skill and good judgment in the use of resources. He is known to be prudent, not extravagant,” he said.

Cimatu was in Cebu City last June 23-25 as part of his task to oversee the government’s pandemic response in the city.

Antiporda pointed out that Cimatu would not be sidetracked by such false allegations that are clearly intended to undermine the government’s efforts to fight the coronavirus disease.