Estrada orders temporary closure of Manila Zoo
The Manila City government Tuesday said Manila Zoo will be temporarily closed to come up with a plan to clean up the 59-year-old facility, which the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) tagged as “ a major pollutant of Manila Bay.”
This was in a memorandum signed by Manila City Mayor Joseph Estrada.
‘’Manila Zoo (will) be closed to the public until further notice,’’ it said. The city’s departments of engineering and public works and public services will submit a program of work to build or install water treatment facilities or sewerage treatment plants for Manila Zoo and other facilities.
In a report by ABS-CBN, Manila City administrator Eric Alcovendaz was quoted as saying that the temporary closure of the zoo might be implemented on Wednesday or Thursday, .
DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said in a phone interview with the Daily Manila Shimbun that they welcome Manila City's initiative to address the issues related to the zoo.
"We are happy for Manila City's initiative (to temporarily close the zoo). This is a huge thing," he said. He added that the order signifies the city's cooperation with DENR's Manila Bay clean-up drive.
Antiporda explained that Manila Zoo "did not have sewage treatment plants and treatment facilities for the waste water" which pollutes the estuaries connected to Manila Bay.
In line with the DENR's Manila Bay cleanup on January 27, Antiporda said they will not necessarily coordinate with the Manila Zoo unless they find another leakage.
"If we found out that there are still leakage coming from the zoo, we will notify them," he said. "They can gather the animal wastes and compost it inside the zoo," he suggests.
Antiporda said those establishments that will not comply with the Clean Water Act, especially the facilities around Manila Bay, might be closed.
The memorandum for the rehabilitation of the oldest zoo in Asia, first opened on July 25, 1959, came after Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu led an inspection of government-run facilities around Manila Bay.
Last January 11, Cimatu said the facility has been draining untreated sewage into one of the estuaries connected to Manila Bay. The zoo is located near Estero de San Antonio Abad in Malate.
He also told reporters an area of the estuary which passes through the zoo "registered the highest coliform level draining into the bay.” Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS
Police arrests Daraga mayor for illegal possession of guns and explosives
Police arrested Daraga, Albay Mayor Carlwyn Baldo after confiscating loose firearms and an explosive were seized from his home as they implemented a search warrant on Tuesday.
Chief Superintendent Arnel Escobal, Bicol region police director, said the raid on Baldo home in Barangay Tagas took place at around 2:30 p.m.
Baldo is in custody of police where he is facing illegal possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives.
Escobal said two .45 caliber pistols with eight bullets , a magazine for an Uzi machine pistol, an ammunition for an an M203 grenade launcher and a bullet for an M-16 rifle.
Police recovered a white Isuzu Alterra, allegedly the getaway vehicle used by gunmen allegedly hired by Baldo in the murder for AKO Bicol partylist Rep. Rodel Batocabe and his bodyguard.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) tagged Baldo as the mastermind.
Senior Superintendent Arnold Ardiente, who heads Criminal Investigation Detection Group’s ' Bicol office, said the operation stemmed from a claim by Baldo's former associates that he has several unlicensed firearms.
“We also recovered the getaway vehicle at the mayor's home,” Ardiente said in a phone interview.
Six persons are also being held by police in connection with the killing of Batocabe and his bodyguard. DMS.