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Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda apologized to the University of the Philippines (UP) community Thursday (October 15) for calling its experts “bayaran.”

In an interview on ANC’s “Headstart,” Antiporda said the UP Marine Science Institute is a partner of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

“I would like to start my statement with an apology to the UP as a whole. First, it is not intended to destroy the good name of the university itself,” he said.

Antiporda earlier accused UP experts of receiving millions in consultation fees and said they have “no right” to criticize the Manila Bay rehabilitation project, which involves filling Manila Bay’s shoreline with artificial white sand.

The UP experts had recommended rehabilitating mangroves instead of putting white sand on the polluted beach.

“I apologize because talagang natangay din po ako ng emotions ko kahapon dahil po medyo masakit po e,” Antiporda said. “Hindi po akong pulitikong tao kaya ganun.”

Antiporda, however, said UP experts should’ve flagged the DENR first about their concerns before letting the media know about them.

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