Palawan Daily News - - Front Page - By Kia Jo­hanna Lamo

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.

Photo credit Sergei Tok­makov

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