MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang thinks it’s “strange” that there was a fish kill in a portion of Manila Bay amid controversies hounding the government’s rehabilitation and beautification project in the area.
On Friday, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque raised the unreasonableness of having tilapia among the dead fishes in Manila Bay when the fish variety could have only been bred in freshwater.
“Well, hindi ko po alam kung mayroon ngang sabotahe, pinag-aaralan pa po iyan. Pero nakapagtataka nga,” Roque said in an online briefing.
(I don’t know if there’s sabotage, that’s being studied. But it is indeed very strange.)
“Bakit ang tilapia, freshwater fish iyon, nakarating sa Manila Bay? Parang imposible naman iyon ‘no dahil hindi po mabubuhay ang tilapia sa saltwater,” he argued.
(How did tilapia, a freshwater fish, reached Manila Bay? That seems impossible because it can’t live in saltwater.)
On Thursday, photos surfaced showing dead fishes floating in Manila Bay’s portion near Baseco Compound.
Some netizens speculated it was due to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) rehabilitation project that involved the dumping of crushed dolomite boulders along Manila Bay’s shoreline to create a “white beach.”
But DENR said it is “impossible” for Manila Bay’s artificial white sand to cause the fish kill.
DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda likewise wondered how the fish kills happened. He also noted that the site of the fish kill was far from the dolomite project.
“So ingat-ingat lang po tayo sa panahon ngayon desperado po ang kalaban ng gobyerno, lahat po ginagawa para siraan si Presidente Duterte. At nagpapasalamat po kami kahit anong sabihin nila, kahit anong gawin nila, nagtitiwala pa rin po ang sambayanang Pilipino kay Presidente Duterte,” Roque said.
(Let’s be careful during these times that the government’s enemy is desperate, they are doing everything to ruin President Duterte. We are also thankful that whatever they say, whatever they do, Filipinos still trust President Duterte.)
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.