Resort owner sues political family in Camiguin

CAMIGUIN Governor Jurdin Jesus Romualdo and his wife former governor Maria Luisa are facing legal battle for closing down and allegedly maligning a resort in the island earlier this year.

SunStar Cagayan de Oro reached out to the camp of the Romualdos and has yet to issue a statement to address the allegations.

The case came from Bahay Bakasyonan sa Camiguin (BBC) owner and manager Marie Suzette Good, who filed administrative charges against the Romualdos for violation of Republic Act (RA) 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, RA 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public officials and Grave Misconduct, before the Office of the Ombudsman, Friday, July 12, 2019.

The businesswoman is also set to file criminal cases for grave threat and coercion and three counts of libel this week.

She also asked a P100 million damage suit after the business operation was affected with the incident. The resort has been operating since 2009.

The conflict stemmed before the May elections when Good liked and commented the Facebook posts of lawyer Carlo Borrromeo who was a political opponent of Romualdo's son for Mambajao town mayorship.

Lawyer Homer Mabale, Good's lead counsel, said the likes and comments of his client which appeared to be favoring Borromeo did not sit well with the Romualdos and allegedly threatened her to shut down the resort.

He said Governor Romualdo, who was the then mayor of Mambajao, issued a closure order against BBC last May 6, citing alleged violations of the Revised Ecological Solid Waste Management Ordinance of the municipality.

Reservations and bookings were cancelled and current guests have checked out after the order was issued.

Good contested the closure order and secured a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) two days after the closure and the writ of preliminary injunction was also granted by the court last May 10.

Despite the court's order, Mabale said Romualdo kept on accusing, during the campaign sorties, that the resort has been disposing filth and feces to the creeks and sea.

The resort's management vehemently denied the allegations and said they have proof to support that no violations have been committed.

“It is a good resort and for mayor now governor to really malign repeatedly the premier resort which gave employment and has given good name of Camiguin, for him to do that concocting false story is very bad,” Mabale said.

“It is clearly to malign BBC because BBC is not supporting their candidate which is their son in the last elections,” he added.

Another Good's lawyer Cyril Casiño said the resort has followed and complied with the standards of disposing wastes.

He said the resort has 15 septic tanks and compost pits where wastes are being disposed.

“It is not true nga gilabay sa resort ang ilang hugaw sa creek ug dagat. The result of the inspections of the EMB (Environmental Management Bureau) can attest to that,” Casino said.

This is why Good will file three counts of libel and damage suit for because the resort's reputation and goodwill was damaged.


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