Duterte: Officials who refuse to cooperate in Boracay rehab will be arrested

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 7) — President Rodrigo Duterte puts his foot down on the issue of cleaning up Boracay.

Following his orders to resolve Boracay's environmental problems in 6 months, the President had a message to local officials who refuse to cooperate with the government's efforts to restore and preserve the island's beauty.

Speaking at Tarlac province's 145th founding anniversary celebration and 2nd Kanlahi festival, Duterte warned that he would have them arrested if they oppose efforts to fix Boracay.

He said, "Kung ayaw nila mag-cooperate and they begin to protest, eh kayo naman may kasalanan dyan, pati yung mga local officials…aarestuhin ko kayo lahat. If you put up a fight then I'll charge you for sedition, preventing government to do what is good for the Filipino."

[Translation: If they don't want to cooperate and they begin to protest, well you're the one at fault in this, even the local officials...I will arrest all of you. If you put up a fight, then I'll charge you for sedition, preventing government to do what is good for the Filipino.]

On Tuesday, the president said that he would place Boracay under a state of calamity to allow the quicker disbursement of funds needed to fix the island which he earlier called a "cesspool."

RELATED: Duterte to declare state of calamity in Boracay

The president cited three reasons why the government must intervene in fixing the tourist spot: first, he said it's a public health issue; second, he said it's in the best interest of the public to preserve the island's beauty for the next generations to enjoy; and third, he said he saw it as an issue of law and order because the local government - who he said is to blame for the island's current state, may protest efforts to fix it.

Duterte ordered Interior Secretary Eduardo Año to fix Boracay's woes in six months, or else, it could face closure.

RELATED: DILG: Six-month ultimatum on Boracay still stands

"Malinaw ang instruction ng Presidente na pag walang improvement after six months ay ipapasara nya permanently ang Boracay," DILG Officer-in-Charge Eduardo Año told CNN Philippines in a text message Tuesday.

[Translation: The President's instruction to permanently close Boracay if there was no improvement after six months is clear.]