Atienza criticized for Boracay resort built on coral reefs allegedly owned by his and Pacquiao's close friend
Environment Secretary Lito Atienza has ordered the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) to "identify all establishments that continuously failed to comply with environmental laws" and "check on allegations that a resort has been constructed on top of coral reefs," reports Inquirer.net.
The order came after the Boracay Foundation Inc. and the Boracay Chamber of Commerce and Industries protested in mid-October the construction of a resort on top of coral reefs. The resort, called Boracay West Cove, is owned by businessman Crisostomo Aquino, who is reportedly close to Atienza and national boxing champ, Manny Pacquiao. It has allegedly been operating without permits since 2007.
Asking the groups not to discriminate against the resort, Atienza said in an interview with the Inquirer on October 18: "Let's not focus on one resort. Let's address concerns on all the resorts. There is too much anarchy (in Boracay). The environmental situation there is chaotic, perpetrated by the local government units."
The report from the EMB was due in the first week of November.