MANILA A day after he revealed a plan to declare Boracay under state of calamity, President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Wednesday threatened to charge with sedition the opponents of his order to rehabilitate the world-famous tourist destination.
Duterte made his warning in his speech during the 145th founding anniversary of Tarlac, adding he would even order arrest of those who would resist efforts to bring back Boracay to its original state.
The people there in Boracay are snobbish. They don't want (to) cooperate. If they don't want to cooperate and they begin to protest, anyway you were responsible for the damage all these years including those local officials who were all nonchalant of the problem there, I will arrest all of you, the President said.
And if you put up a fight then I'll charge you for sedition, preventing government to do what is good for the Filipino people, he added.
Duterte said the country's popular tourist spot could no longer be used by the next generation if the issues of health, public interest and law and order would not be addressed by the government.
If we will not address these issues, time will come when it is so polluted. It is to our interest to preserve its pristine (state) just like before, Duterte said.
One is health issue. The right of the government to intervene and interdict to promote public health, he added.
The President reiterated his plea to the courts not to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) so as not to exacerbate the problems in Boracay.
"Please do not make it hard for us to operate. It's not a warning actually. I am doing it most respectfully requesting the judiciary to be sparing and do not make life difficult for us. If you decide to issue a TRO stopping us, think, think a thousand times," Duterte said during his meeting with local executives of Luzon in Pampanga.
"It's either I would not believe you or I will put you to task for going against what is good for the people," he added.
Duterte had earlier described Boracay as a cesspool due to sewage and garbage problem destroying the island's ecosystem and endangering the health of visitors.
Source: Philippine News Agency