MANILA, Nov. 26, 2014— A Catholic bishop urged authorities to immediately implement the Supreme Court’s order to relocate an oil depot in Manila’s Pandacan district.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said that as long as it is in Pandacan, the oil depot continues to endanger residents’ lives.
The SC on Tuesday declared as unconstitutional Manila City Ordinance No. 8187, which allowed the continued stay and operation of some giant oil companies in the 33-hectare compound.
“I am happy with the decision. I just hope that it will be immediately implemented,” Pabillo said.
“That’s a good decision from the SC because we see that although these are big companies, they still sided with the people,” he said.
The bishop, a vocal critic of the Pandacan oil depot, also called on the public to maintain vigilance as to how the oil firms will adhere to the court decision.
“We still need to be vigilant and the people must speak because the decision gave a time frame and a plan for relocation. It should be implemented accordingly,” added Pabillo.
The court ruling stated that the relocation of the oil depot should be completed no later than a period of six months.
No other than Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle and his clergy have been pressing for the transfer of the oil depot, saying it poses danger to the communities and to the environment.
Last year, a fuel leaked, coming from a private oil depot, into the Pasig River causing panic among Pandacan residents.
A number of people were also brought to hospital after having trouble breathing due to the foul smell. (CBCPNews)