Malacañang asks SC for an unfair petition in which the closure of Boracay is questioned



FILE – A Boracay resident helps to clean the beach under the workers' department to help workers displaced by the closure of the resort island for six months. -LYN RILLON

Malacañang has asked the Supreme Court to reject a petition that questions its decision to close Boracay Island for half a year.

In a commentary of 61 pages, the palace, via Advocate General Jose Calida, said that the petition of three residents, Mark Anthony Zabal, Thiting Estoso Jacosalem and Odeon Bandiola lacked merit.

The petitioners urged the court to annul President Duterte's proclamation No. 475, which closed Boracay for tourists and non-residents between 26 April and 25 October. Applicants said the proclamation was the separation of powers and the rights to travel and work method.

They said that Duterte exceeded the power of Congress when issuing the stormed order and that he did not have the authority to close the island on the basis of the supposed police force.

However, Calida said that the president ordered the closure of Boracay by virtue of his power as chief executive under Sections 1 and 17, Article VII of the Constitution and declared Boracay in a state of disaster after the recommendation of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

"In this case, the situation in Boracay Island called for a powerful and urgent measure to address the man-made dangers that caused the degradation of the Boracay Island ecosystem … Apparently, proclamation no. then the exercise by the president of his power of control over the executive branch of government, especially in addressing the state of disaster on Boracay Island, "read the comment.

"If the president had not acted on the basis of the National Council's recommendation to address the environmental disaster in Boracay, he would have violated his promised duty under existing laws and the Constitution," added Calida.

The Solicitor General pointed out that there is no assumption by the President because he only applies relevant laws, such as the Philippine Clean Water Act, the Solid Waste Act and the Philippine Law for Limiting and Controlling Risks.

"It can not therefore be emphasized enough that the issue of Proclamation No. 475 falls within the powers of the President and does not conflict with the doctrine of separation of powers and the mechanisms that the people have established through the Constitution," the notary-general argued.

About violating the constitutional right to travel, a fair trial, Calida said that the right to travel is not absolute, because it provides exceptions in cases of "national security, public safety or public health", which apply are on Boracay Island.

The Solicitor General also denied the petitioners' assertion that their right to a fair trial was violated by the closing order, which stated that the police had replaced the rights of Zabal and Jacosalem on their freelance jobs as maker of sandcastles and tricycles on the island.

"Applicants do not have a permanent right within the scope of the fair trial clause of the Constitution, since the state, under its comprehensive police force, can change, change or change it, in accordance with the requirements of the general constitution." .

"With proper police enforcement, petitioners can not simply appeal to the" fair trial "clause of the Constitution and insist that every government action is to their liking." Private goals must give way to the reasonable privileges of the state for the public good and the prosperity, "Calida said.

In addition, Calida added that the petition should absolutely have been rejected because its sole purpose is "intimidation, irritation, unnecessary pressure or any legal case that respondents have taken or will take in enforcing environmental legislation on Boracay Island".

Mentioned respondents in the petition are Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and DILG Officer-in-Charge Eduardo Año. President Duterte was also called respondent, but he is expected to be dismissed because of his immunity from legal proceedings while he is still in office.

RELATED STORY:

SC asked to stop the closure of Boracay

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