Management of the resort blocked enforcement officials from entering the the resort and serving a closure order for alleged environmental violations and underpayment of taxes.
Tensions escalated when Burunga Mayor Quezon Labindao and law enforcement officers tried to serve the closure order on boats – the boats bearing Labindao and the law enforcers never made it to the docks.
“We believe we have all the legal rights not to allow them in to enforce the order. The closure is mere harassment,” said Ruby Luces, resort manager.
Though the order to close was not served on the resort, the Philippine National Police confiscated one of the resort’s tourist boats for not having the proper permits – however, Luces denied the allegation saying that the proper permits have been secured from the Maritime Industry Authority.
The Philippine Coast Guard later told the Buruanga LGU to return the boat to Ariel’s Point as it in fact did have the correct paperwork filed with them.
At the time of the attempted closure enforcement the resort was catering to 68 foreign nationals and local tourists, yet another sign that the local government is playing games.