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Palawan SP declares NGO official as persona non grata

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The Palawan Sangguninag Panlalawigan has declared an official of the Palawan NGO Network Incorporated (PNNI) as persona non grata in the province for his “malicious” statements that “besmirched” the reputation of the provincial government.

The Palawan SP approved Resolution No. 011-21 on January 12 declaring PNNI Executive Director Atty. Robert Chan as persona non grata.

The resolution is entitled: “Expressing the collective outrage of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan over malicious statements of Atty. Robert Chan which has besmirched the reputation and integrity of the Provincial Government during declaring him for the purpose as persona non grata in the Province of Palawan”

The said resolution was authored by all the members of the council.

Third District Board Member Albert Rama said in a privilege speech that the SP received a letter in November 2020 from a certain Homer Capinig from Puerto Princesa. An excerpt of the letter said:”In a two (2) minute video released a year ago by Atty. Bobby Chan, the Executive Director of PNNI which is circulating in the social media until now, he stated that Palawan is terribly mismanaged and neglected of the government because of the alleged illegal logging, illegal fishing and mining in the province”.

“Ang tinutukoy na video ay ang Palawan NGO Network Inc. Fundraiser na naka-upload sa isang social media site kung saan humihingi ng donasyon si Atty. Chan para sa kanilang mga para-enforcer,” the provincial government said.

“Ayon kay BM Rama, nakaaapekto sa kredibilidad at integridad ng Pamahalang Panlalawigan at iba pang mga ahensiya ng pamahalaan ang iresponsable, walang basehan at malisyosong akusasyon ng Executive Director ng PNNI kung kaya’t ang ipinaabot na hinaing ni Capinig ay itinuring nilang lehitimo,” it added.

Rama, meanwhile, acknowledged the roles of NGOs, civil society groups and the private sector in the province.

“Understanding the role of the civil society and the reality of being in the government, exercising maximum tolerance is the only most civil and prudent response” said BM Rama.