By: Marites Toledo
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte must be offering a wrong decision if he will use the military in demolishing the
Illegal fishpens that have been flourishing at the Laguna Lake from Laguna up to Rizal province.
The leaders of the employees’ union of the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) said Duterte should instead replace the agency’s general manager Dr. Nereus Acosta if the President is serious in putting an end to the illegal fishpens in the lake and putting end to rampant graft and corruption at the LLDA.
Just recently, Duterte said he will hesitate to order the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in dismantling the fishpens at the Laguna lake.
The LLDA union leaders said Acosta and several other officials are actually the responsible in the proliferation of illegal fishpens at the lake.
The group said the truth of the matter is that the illegal fishpens became rampant during Acosta’s term.
They group said there are fishpens that are legally registered at the LLDA, but the number of illegal fishpens are bigger compared to illegal fishpens.
The union leaders said Acosta had only ordered the dismantling illegal fishpens once in July.
After the first order, Acosta never bothered to continue cleaning up the Laguna lake the union leaders said.
The leaders added that if Duterte is serious in cleaning up the Laguna lake from illegal fishpens, he must boot out Acosta and his allies from the LLDA.
Acosta was appointed by then President Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III.
Acosta is a Liberal Party (LP) stalwart.
Acosta was convicted by the Sandiganbayan of graft and corruption charges.
Acosta was sentenced by the Sandiganbayan to 6 – 10-year imprisonment after he was found guilty of placing P5 Million of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), or pork barrel, to a non-governmental organization in 2002, wherein his mother was connected.
At the same time, Acosta was likewise prevented by the Sandiganbayan not to get a government position for life.
The court said Acosta has violated the anti-graft and corruption practices law.
Last August, Duterte ordered all appointees of Aquino to vacate their posts.
Acosta filed his resignation to the Office of the President, but he also strongly hoping that he will be reappointed since his mother is a close friend of Duterte.
The union leaders said booting Acosta out of LLDA would the start of cleaning up the LLDA from rampant graft and corruption.