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Bohol Gov, 68 Others Suspended Over Resort Controversy

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The Office of the Ombudsman has suspended Bohol Governor Aris Aumentado and 68 other officials for six months without pay. This action is linked to the investigation into the construction of Captain’s Peak Resort at the foot of the Chocolate Hills, a protected area in Bohol.

The resort was built without the necessary Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) and Special Use Agreement in Protected Areas (SAPA) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The ombudsman’s field investigation office accused the officials of grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, and conduct prejudicial to public service. They allegedly violated the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 1992 and the expanded NIPAS Act of 2018.

Ombudsman Samuel Martires confirmed the preventive suspension order, signed by Special Prosecutor Edilberto Sandoval on May 22. The suspension is immediately effective unless halted by the ombudsman or a court.

Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. is responsible for enforcing the suspension. Other suspended officials include several town mayors, vice mayors, barangay officials, and regional directors from DENR-EMB and other departments.

The Chocolate Hills is a legislated protected area and a UNESCO Global Geopark, but the Land Registration Authority revealed there are 5,652 titled properties spanning 7,860 hectares within the area.


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