DENR exec says Moreno's appeal to charge them only 'sarcasm'

Published October 27, 2021, 12:44 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso’s call on the national government’s pandemic task force to file charges against Environment Department’s officials over Dolomite beach overcrowding is only a “sarcasm,” an agency official said Wednesday, Oct. 27.

“Based on what I heard yesterday, this was only said with sarcasm, dahil medyo na-agitate ‘yung ating mayor. Doon na inanggulo ng ating kapatid sa media (because he got agitated. And that’s where the media angled the story),” Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Usec. Benny Antiporda said in a press conference.

Antiporda’s comment came after Moreno called it ironic that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, which is under the national government, is enforcing and policing the implementation health protocols, but it cannot even hold liable its fellow national government agency if it violates the rules.

“Charge those people in DENR for violating our rules. If they cannot implement it within their offices, then there is no point implementing it sa mga taongbayan (to the public). Pinahihirapan natin ang taumbayan pero ang unang naglalabag ay tayo ring nasa national government (We are giving the public a hard time but those violating are those in the national government). It doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t add up,” Moreno said.

Antiporda expressed belief that DENR and Moreno’s local government of Manila have a “mutual understanding” in terms of rehabilitating the Manila Bay.

Antiporda also said Moreno can call anytime DENR Sec. Roy Cimatu if he has concerns.

For his part, Cimatu said the agency is “very very sorry for what happened” and assured Moreno and the public that “it will not happen again.”

“I respect yung kanyang posisyon [his position] of the what happened,” Cimatu said. “I welcome what he said and I will do eveything to explain what happened.”