Gatchalian urges authorities to file charges, revoke lease contract of Clark leisure park

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 25)— Senator Win Gatchalian on Monday urged the authorities to file appropriate charges against the owners of Fontana Leisure Park in Clark Freeport, Pampanga over the supposed illegal operations of a COVID-19 medical facility in the area catering to Chinese patients.

Gatchalian also called on the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) to look into the revocation and "immediate" termination of the lease contract of the leisure park, citing the violations in operations.

"That's why I call on the government, NBI (National Bureau of Investigation), PNP (Philippine National Police) to file charges against the owners of Fontana and CDC to look into revoking the lease contract of Fontana," Gatchalian told CNN Philippines' The Source. "Because Fontana is definitely operating in a very illegal manner."

"Fontana, being a lessee of Clark, they should immediately terminate the contract," he added. "Because we don't want business people like these operating in our country... They're administering patients without government approval."

Local police raided last week the unlicensed makeshift medical facility inside the leisure park, which was said to be catering to Chinese patients suspected of COVID-19.

Two Chinese nationals — said to be the owner and the pharmacist — were arrested during the raid. The CDC had said it will hold the Fontana management accountable for allowing the illegal business to happen within their property.

The Fontana Development Corporation, however, denied any involvement in the scheme, saying another corporation now controls the converted villa.

“Fontana has no control over the property or the operations therein," FDC Assistant General Manager Simon Wu said in a letter to CDC which was made public on Saturday. "In fact, Fontana casino, junket and hotel operations have long been suspended. Fontana has zero operations at present.”

But Gatchalian said he was not buying FDC's denial. The senator noted the management should be fully aware of the happenings in the whole facility.

He also expressed concern over the medical waste the facility has generated, adding that products— if not properly disposed— may turn out to be infectious.

"Where do they throw the medical waste? Gatchalian asked. "You can't just open up a hospital, treat, and then throw all the medical waste in the usual household disposal system. You're gonna contaminate a lot of people."

Fontana Leisure Park, located 80 kilometers north of Manila, has villas, a water theme park, golf course, and casino.