DENR: Depot source of oil spill to face charges
MANILA, Philippines - Government is cleaning up the oil spill that contaminated the Pasig River over the weekend.
The environment department has suspended operations of the depot and vows to file charges.
Natashya Gutierrez reports.
It really smells bad. Sometimes it goes away, sometimes it comes back, The next day my head hurt and my chest hurt.
Marites Malabanan is a mother of 4.
She says the stench from the Pasig river roused her family from sleep.
She lives in Brgy Sto Nino across the river from Larraine Marketing the oil depot responsible for the oil spill last June 22.
Manila City Administrator Jesus Marzan says L&M is only allowed to store petroleum, not used oil.
Initial findings show the spill was used oil.
Tank 9, one of the depot's 10 tanks is the source.
JESUS MARI MARZAN
Part of the investigation yan because ngayon pa lang naubos yung laman. (It's part of the investigation. It's only now that the tank is empty.) A water test will identify where it came from.
The Coast Guard says the leak stopped 3pm, Sunday.
To prevent the oil spill from spreading, the clean-up crew uses a boom and absorbers.
Two days after the spill, water on the river is an oily green.
Dead fish float on the surface.
The Coast Guard estimates it will take 2-3 days to finish clean up. So far, only 200L of the estimated 1000L of oil spilled have been retrieved. Officials say it will be impossible to collect 100% of the spill.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources suspends L&M's operations and vows to file charges.
DENR official Vizminda Osorio says the depot does not have a permit to operate-- not since 2005.
We've suspended their operations effective today. The only thing they will do is the clean up because we have yet to determine the damage or extent of damage.
The lawyer of L&M cries sabotage.
He says someone deliberately spilled oil in the river.
The depot is deep in a labor dispute.
Officials promise they will get to the bottom of the leak.
But for Marites and the residents of Brgy Sto Nino, it is little comfort.
They only want to be assured it will not happen again.
Natashya Gutierrez, Rappler, Manila.