Duterte denies knowing about planned Boracay casino
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte denied he knew about plans to construct a casino in Boracay.
The planned casino angered netizens and critics who claimed it was proof that the government is not sincere in efforts to protect the popular tourist destination.
"Walang plano diyang casino-casino. Tama na iyan kasi sobra na. May casino dito, casino doon," Duterte said in a press conference on Monday, April 9, before leaving for China.
(There are no plans for a casino. Let's stop it because it's too much. There's a casino here, casino there.)
For the President, Boracay should be a farmers' island instead.
"Consider Boracay a land reform area. I will give it to the farmers, to the Filipinos first," he said.
"I will issue a proclamation. Lahat 'yan, lahat (all of the lands), agricultural," he added.
Duterte said that, according to the law, Boracay is mostly comprised of agricultural or forest land.
"The law says it is forest, agricultural. Why would I deviate from that?" he said.
"It's going to be a land reform area for the Filipinos. If you want to build something there, they can build a floating –" he said.
Boracay's 6-month closure to tourists begins on April 26. (READ: Is the government prepared for Boracay's closure?) – Rappler.com
We keep you informed because you matter
We tell you the stories that matter. We ask, we probe, we explain.
But as we strive to do all this and speak truth to power, we face constant threats to our independence.
Help us make a difference through free and fearless journalism. With your help, you enable us to keep providing you with our brand of compelling and investigative work.
Joining Rappler PLUS allows us to build communities of action with you. PLUS members will receive our editorial newsletters and industry reports, get to join exclusive online conversations with our award-winning journalists, and be part of our monthly events.
Make your move now. Join Rappler PLUS.