By Argyll Cyrus Geducos and Genalyn Kabiling
He has turned Boracay island from cesspool to a clean vacation resort in six months.
Now, President Duterte’s next mission is to rid the world famous island paradise of illegal drugs.
In his speech during the distribution of certificates of land ownership award (CLOA) to agrarian reform beneficiaries Thursday evening in Boracay, Duterte revealed that illegal drugs are rampant in the beaches of Boracay.
“‘Yang droga, p***** i** ninyo umalis kayo diyan kasi ‘yang Boracay na ‘yan, sataasngBoracay ‘yungsa beach, maraming droga diyan. Aabutankotalaga kayo (The drug dealers in the beachfronts, get out or I will deal with you),” he ordered.
“Nilinis ko ‘yung beach. P****** i** ninyo lilinisin ko talaga kayo. Aabutanko kayo (I already cleaned the beach. You will be next. I will see to it),” he added.
Duterte also declared he does not want casinos in Boracay because the establishments are being used to deal drugs and commit other crimes.
“The hotel with the casino is not good because there are a lot of things will happen. It becomes dysfunctional, actually,” he told reporters in Boracay.
“Kidnappings, drugs and everything. And it is a place where most of the gangster around or thereabout or just stay there and commit crimes of sort,” he added.
Duterte said he will not grant any new permits or contracts for hotels or casinos in Boracay until he is assured that illegal drugs will not be part of its operations.
“And I do not think I’m ready to grant any other. If I am not assured of, I said, up there behind Boracay, the beach is — drugs are very…” he said.
“You can maybe go in and disguise yourself as… Do some investigative journalism. That’s why I do not want it. I do not like it,” he added.
The President cited a survey that showed island residents were opposed gambling operations.
“It’s the voice of people is the voice of God. If it is the wish of the population here that they do not want a casino, then it will be a no casino (policy),” he added.
President Duterte did not grace the opening of the new Boracay after rehab efforts last October 26 but members of his Cabinet were all present.
On Thursday, the President returned to fulfill a promise – award land titles to the native residents who were being left out by developments in the island.
Around 623 Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) covering 274 hectares of land in Boracay and other municipalities in Aklan have been distributed to agrarian reform beneficiaries. Six of the CLOAs were given to 45 members of the Boracay Ati Tribal Organization.
The beneficiaries can sell their property after a 10-year prohibition period so they can become millionaires, President Duterte declared. But for now, he advised the new landowners to till the land and make it productive.
“Angsinabiko during the Cabinet meeting, we were discussing about it. And I told them, ‘Kung ipagbili ng mga anak ninyo, apo ninyo, milyon na ‘yan.’ Ang sinabi ko sa Cabinet, ‘At least kayo, in your lifetime maybe, or ‘yung mga anakninyo, apo, makatikimngperanamalaki.” Iyo nang consuelo ko doon [I said during the Cabinet meeting, we were discussing about it and I told them, ‘If your children, grandchildren sell the land, it would amount to millions. I told the Cabinet, ‘At least in your lifetime, you or your children, grandchildren will get a taste of huge money. That’s my consolation],” the President shared.
“In the meantime, till the land, make it productive, and when the prohibition period is over, maybe your children can sell it and it would be million. So may mgaAtiditonayayamanbalangaraw,” he said.
Duterte pointed out the beneficiaries are fortunate to have a piece of real estate in the country and now own the land they have been tilling for years.
“If I were you, wala naman akong ibang maibigay na sa inyo. Stick with the land. Make it I said productive and someday you can expect maybe sell it. At least ‘yungmgaanakniyo, aponinyomilyonaryo [your children, grandchildren will become millionaires],” he said.
“Huwag ninyong bitawan ‘yan.Saka raming tao samundo, to own — makakuha kalang ng piece of real estate, lupa. Saka rami natin, one million 10, tapos kayo dito nakakuhang inyong lupa na inyo na, na maibigay na ninyo doon sa mga apo ninyo, at baka balang araw they so decide [Don’t let it slip away. With all the people in the world, you are given the chance to own a piece of real property which you can give to your grandchildren who may someday decide what to do with it). Then it’s up to them,” he said.
He said the administration will continue “to protect and uphold your right to own, control, secure, cultivate, enhance and reap the benefits [from] the agricultural lands you till.”
“It thus brings me great joy that our strong resolve to prioritize the indigenous people of Aklan, especially here in Boracay Island, by transferring ownership of these remaining agricultural lands, is now becoming a reality,” he said.
Duterte said he has ordered concerned government agencies to implement programs towards agricultural productivity and environmental integrity.
“We must ensure that no one will be left behind in our quest for development that is inclusive and sustainable,” he said.
“Let me assure you that we will ensure that all beneficiaries will have greater access to support services from the government so that they may have the capacity to become more productive members of the communities of Aklan,” he assured.