Ten persons have been arrested and charged by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for operating establishments occupying protected forestlands in Boracay Island.
NBI Officer-In-Charge Director Eric Distor on Saturday, Nov. 28, identified those arrested as Britons Stephen Field and Mark Harrington, Belgian Michielsen Dirk Josef, Australian Maria Victoria Schafer, and Filipinos Mary Irish Guerra, Johnson Jacinal, Patricia Ann Varga, Oscar delos Santos, Arturo Revillame, and Paul Sajise.
Distor said the 10 were either owners or caretakers of nine establishments found occupying protected forestlands in Boracay.
These establishments are Sea View Apartment, Aloha Villa, La Dolce Vota/Casa Monte, Private Mountain Casitas Boracay Inn, Cohiba Villas, Carolina Park View, Boracay Sunshine Shuttle and Limousine Corporation, Artista Beach, and Monkey House.
“All the establishments were never issued any tenurial instrument nor any other permits by the DENR,” the NBI said in a statement.
The 10 persons were arrested last Nov. 24 in operations conducted by the NBI’s Environmental Crime Division (NBI-EnCD) in the area of Barangay Balabag.
Following the operations, the 10 persons were presented for inquest before the Prosecutor’s Office of Kalibo, Aklan for violating Presidential Decree 705 or the Revised Forestry Code, PD 1067 or the Philippine Water Code, and the 25+5 meter beach easement ordinance of Malay, Aklan.
The NBI said Sea View Apartment, Aloha Villa, La Dolce Vota/Casa Monte, Private Mountain Casitas Boracay Inn, Cohiba Villas, Carolina Park View, and Boracay Sunshine Shuttle and Limousine Corporation are big structures in Forestland Block E in Barangay Balabag.
While, Artista Village and Monkey House have portions that occupy the 25+5 meter beach easement no-build zone and have repeatedly defied notices for self demolition.