Riot gear delivered to Boracay as shutdown deadline looms

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Riot gear delivered to Boracay as the closure of the island looms. 610 police have also been deployed to the island. Picture via the Boracay Inquirer’s Facebook Page

Police riot gear has been sent to Boracay as the authorities prepare to close the tourist island for up to six months.

Photographs on the Boracay Informer’s Facebook page show 300 riot shields and sets of protective clothing that have been delivered in time for the April 26 shut down.

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The Police Regional Office has also confirmed that 610 cops have been deployed to the island in preparation for the closure.

Regional police spokesman Chief Inspector Joem Malong said: “We appeal to residents and affected businesses in Boracay not to resort to violence.”

Meanwhile, the Manila Bulletin has reported that the Boracay Foundation Inc. (BFI), the biggest business organisation on the renowned tourist island, has denied any links to whatever groups may be planning protests against the closure.

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The closure of the island followed comments by President Duterte that the white-sand resort had become a “cesspool”.

Further assessments revealed overdevelopment, destruction of wetlands, raw sewage being discharged into the sea and a widespread disregard for building regulations.

Despite protests from business owners, the order to close the island entirely was confirmed earlier this month, giving workers and employees just weeks to prepare for the shutdown.

Rumours have been swirling that protests have been planned against the move, with the BFI often named as being involved.

However, a statement issued by the foundation today (Friday, April 13) said: “The BFI categorically states that it has no affiliation or partnership with any of the organisers.”

Workers and residents of the island have expressed concern that representatives of the relevant government departments have not yet met with them to explain how the closure order will be implemented.

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