The country, or a part of it, is now facing another kind of oil crisis. Guimaras Island, a pocket of paradise in the central part of the Philippines, is now dealing with a massive oil spill from a tanker which sank along the once pristine Guimaras shoreline. The full impact of this horrific environmental disaster has yet to be felt even as the sludge has now spread to the nearby provinces of Iloilo and Negros. The tanker Solar I sank with about 2 million liets of bunker fuel last August 11. A full two weeks after, the national government still has not come up with a concrete plan to deal with the worst oil spill ever to have hit the Philippines. The exact location of the sunken vessel has not even been determined yet even as it continues to spew forth its toxic cargo underwater. The finger-pointing goes on while thousands of displaced fisherfolk and others dependent on the island’s bounty face starvation. Petron Corporation, the cargo owner and principal, is blaming the shipping company who in turn is pointing to God or the fates. For a country lurching from one crisis to another, this is another cruel blow to its long-suffering people and its already battered natural environment.
Today’s issue of the Asian Wall Street Journal says that the game is already afoot. This refers to an expected spate of leveraged corporate takeovers in the Asian region which promises some action for the Warrior Lawyer. The deals are usually driven by private-equity firms seeking investment opportunities. However, companies wanting to expand through selective acquisitions will also be major players. Where will this lead to ? More work for the Warrior Lawyer and other talents in the legal arena, in the immediate term. Already the regional financial centers are buzzing in anticipation. But will this be good for the region in the long run ? The question remains as to what happens after such deals are closed. Typically, some buyers would be in it for short-term gains. We shall see how the cookie crumbles soon enough.