Iloilo oil spill victims seek compensatory damages

Published July 17, 2020, 2:18 PM

by Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY—Hundreds of residents in a coastal village in this city are seeking compensatory damages from the oil spill caused by an incident of a power barge.

The oil spill from a damaged power barge has affected coastal communities in Iloilo City. (Tara Yap/Manila Bulletin)
The oil spill from a damaged power barge has affected coastal communities in Iloilo City. (Tara Yap/Manila Bulletin)

Atty. Joshua Alim confirmed that a total of 761 affected residents of Barrio Obrero village signed a petition urging AC Energy Philippines, owner of the damaged power barge, to look into their plight as their coastal livelihoods, health, and environment were affected by the July 3 oil spill.

“The damage is immeasurable. It is beyond pecuniary estimation,” Alim said in a letter submitted to AC Energy.

Village councilors Ramon Buenafe, Alan Dela Cruz, Rodiel Razo, and Peter Vego sought Alim’s legal assistance on behalf of the residents.

“Their own constituents are asking them for help,” Alim told Manila Bulletin in an interview on Friday, July 17.

Alim clarified that the ones who signed the petition were only from Barrio Obrero village, but he has been getting calls from residents of other affected residents including from Loboc village.

This is the latest in a string of complaints both from residents and local officials.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas had earlier threatened to sue AC Energy for its negligence, slow response to the oil spill, and poor handling of those who were evacuated.  AC Energy, in turn, temporarily transferred hundreds of residents to hotels.

AC Energy confirmed it received the letter.

“We are working with the city government and the barangay captain to find out the details,” said Gabby Mejia, head for plant operations of AC Energy.

“We will address this,” Mejia told Manila Bulletin in a separate interview.

READ MORE: Owner, officials of thermal energy firm in Iloilo City oil spill charged

 
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