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DENR denies claims on Cimatu’s “expensive” trip to Cebu

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu | Photo courtesy: Cebu Public Information Office

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has denied claims that Secretary Roy Cimatu’s reservation in a high-end hotel in Cebu has incurred large expenses.

In a Facebook post, former Commission on Filipinos Overseas chairperson Imelda Nicolas questioned the hotel accommodation expenses of Cimatu and his team, who recently had a trip in Cebu to meet with its officials following the spike of COVID-19 cases in the region.

“70 rooms reserved @ Seda hotel for Cimatu’s team. Cheapest room is @5k. That’s 350,000 a day. For 1 week that’s 2.240m. This is just rooms. Cost of accommodation,” the post reads.

Nicolas further noted how the food and transportation expenses have yet to be factored in aside from accommodation costs.

“How many PPEs and test kits can that buy? How many sacks of rice can that buy? Is this how you rid yourself of blame? Is this how you save lives?”

In a statement, DENR Spokesperson Benny Antiporda clarified that Cimatu only stayed in Cebu for two days. He also called the claims that the number of reserved rooms reached 70 as nonsense, saying that the DENR chief was only accompanied by his aide.

“Hindi po totoo iyan at hindi po marangyang tao si Secretary Cimatu, dati po itong sundalo at kung ano po iyong matitipid ng taumbayan ay ginagawa po niya para po magamit sa tama ang pondo po ng kaban ng bayan,” Antiporda said during a Laging Handa virtual press briefing over the weekend.

He also stated that the agency is currently looking into filing a cyber libel against Nicolas for spreading false information on social media.

 

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