All within the law PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 23 April 2018 13:22

By Remedios F. Marmoleño

PRRD learned about the environmental infractions of establishments in Boracay and quickly ordered that these establishments – which built on no-build zones along the beach, which released untreated sewage directly into the sea water -  be made to account for their violations of the law or laws. The President was appraised of the bus accident in Mindoro where some 19 people were killed and he quickly ordered that the owner of the bus company be arrested.

It is good that we have a president who is engaged in how  the offices directly under the President’s Office are carrying ( or not carrying) out their defined duties. And that he is wielding his powerful stick. But there are a few  things  that I missed in all the reporting of these situations:  how these offices which are supposed to be regulating the activities  of construction in Boracay or the office regulating the discharge of sewage into the sea were made to explain their roles in these situations. Or how the  bus company in Mindoro  which had units involved in serious accidents over the years could still continue operating their franchise.

Let us deal with the Boracay case first. There is supposed to be a law that prohibits construction of structures within 30  ( 20?) meters above the high tide water line. And there is a requirement in our country that calls for a building permit before you can begin to nail together even the simplest cottage. So what happened in Boracay which  had several structures within the no-build zones? Should the officials who should have been doing their jobs get away scot free?

The businesses in Boracay disregarded the law. However they should be held accountable in accordance with  the prevailing legal process in our country, whatever this process be. Those who built the structures and those who should have told them “No, no” should be held to account for their actions, or in the case of the government office, for their lack of action.

The Dimple bus company has to be held liable for the accident. As practiced in the Philippines, each vehicle  the company owns and operates  is supposed to be insured  and in the event of an accident, those who died and those who suffered injuries will have to be compensated by the bus company. The insurance money is supposed to be used for this kind of situation.  But PRRD has ordered the arrest of the company owners. Is this what the law stipulates?

Even the president of a country cannot order the arrest of a person unless there is a particular charge against the person  ordered arrested. We have to comply with the defined legal process if law in our country is to be respected.