DENR, PCG TO INVESTIGATE VIRAL ‘OIL SPILL’ IN CORON
Arecently viral video uploaded online by a foreign videographer and lawyer showing a sheen of oil spill in Coron is being investigated by the DENR and Philippine Coast Guard.
Atty. Sergei Tokmakov allegedly took the footage on September 15, 2018 showing the supposed oil spill is just 500 meters away from the Maquinit hot spring.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said that the uploaded image might be an old photo of the previous oil spill in Coron but nevertheless will still investigate.
It added that the LGU Coron will also
validate the authenticity of the alleged oil spill in the area.
The Philippine Coast Guard also affirmed that there is no oil spill in the area but will be validating the report.
But Tokmakov said that he initiated uploading the photo out of his love for the country and would not let Palawan be destroyed.
“I am an independent witness who has no reason to lie whatsoever. In California, I am a lawyer. I don’t break the law; I haven’t even had a speeding ticket since 2002. I have zero time or desire to go all the way to the other side of the world to make up some hoaxes about a town in the Philippines. I just shared what I saw in a video. Out of love for the Philippines, I had to. I could not just let those Barbarians sit there in marine paradise like that, especially if it turns out it was illegal for large vessels to even be there in the first place,” he said.
Tokmakov also said that he did not have any regrets posting the photo although others are questioning the authenticity of the post.
He said that it is a concern for preservation of Palawan’s beauty and stated that his act has alarmed the perpetrators and said that it is therefore a great help to Palawan.
“I am glad I reported it, even though some parties are trying to shift blame by doubting the authenticity of my report without even
bothering to request original files or asking me anything about it. Whoever says something is fake without even bothering to look at it is obviously more interested in sweeping the issue under the rug than solving it. But many sensible people also came forward to propose greater integration between environmental authorities and the stakeholders, educational measures and other solutions. I think the perpetrators are feeling the sting, too. So, overall I think my report had a positive effect on preserving Coron’s immaculate beauty,” he said.