US toxic waste dumped in Subic

UNDER PROBE. The MT Glenn Guardian docked at Alava Pier on Subic Bay. ROBERT GONZAGA/INQUIRER CENTRAL LUZON

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is investigating a US Navy contractor for allegedly dumping hazardous wastes on Subic Bay last month.

SBMA records showed that wastes dumped by the tanker MT Glenn Guardian were collected from American ships that joined the recently concluded joint military exercises in the country.

The tanker is one of the vessels owned by Glenn Defense Marine Asia, a Malaysian company operating in several countries which services American ships in the Philippines.

The allegations of waste dumping in Subic Bay have alarmed locators and environmental organizations in the free port.

Charo Simons, spokesperson of Subic Bay Freeport Chamber for Health and Environment Conservation, said the waste dumping was “deeply troubling to all of us who want to protect the environment in and around the Subic Bay area.”

“This company has a lot of explaining to do, and the SBMA has a duty to go after this company’s officials if they have endangered not only the environment but also everybody who lives and works here,” Simons said.

On Oct. 15, SBMA Ecology Center personnel inspected Glenn Guardian, then docked at the Naval Supply Depot area here due to a “hazard call” from another free port locator.

A copy of the SBMA spot report showed that the tanker was carrying some 189,500 liters of domestic waste and about 760 liters of bilge water (a combination of water, oil and grease), all of which were hauled from Emory Land, a US Navy ship.

On Oct. 16, a team from the Philippine Coast Guard’s marine pollution division, led by PO1 Enrico Viuda, and SBMA Ecology Center personnel boarded Glenn Guardian and another vessel, MT Glenn Enterprise, to take water samples and see whether the liquid waste was safe to be dumped into the sea.

But SBMA sources said Edilberto Acedilla, captain of Glenn Guardian, told the team that the liquid wastes had been dumped at least 37 kilometers (20 nautical miles) from Subic Bay.

An SBMA official involved in the investigation said the Coast Guard had told Acedilla that a permit was necessary since the tankers were dumping water in Philippine territory.

The official, who asked not to be named because of lack of authority to speak to the media, said the Coast Guard and the SBMA Ecology Center had not issued permits to Glenn Defense Marine Asia for the dumping.

 

High toxicity level

Test results of the water samples conducted by Subic Water and Sewerage Co., the firm contracted by the SBMA to test water samples taken from the vessels, showed that the level of toxicity of the liquid wastes exceeded the norm and went beyond levels set by international marine pollution conventions.

SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia said the results “confirmed that [Glenn Defense Marine Asia] did not treat the waste, which it should have.”

“There are treatment plants in Central Luzon, where the wastes should have been brought first before they dumped them,” he said.

Garcia added that although the Glenn Guardian captain claimed that the wastes were dumped in the West Philippine Sea, “they should have treated these first because that contained oily waste.”

Show cause letter

Garcia said the SBMA Ecology Center had issued a “show cause” letter to Glenn Defense Marine Asia, asking the company to explain the waste dumping that was supposedly done without proper permits.

The company, through its lawyers, sent the SBMA a reply on Nov. 6 and said the Presidential Commission on the Visiting Forces Agreement, not the government agency administering this free port, has jurisdiction over it.

Glenn Defense Marine Asia has been servicing vessels in Subic Bay since 2009, according to records. This year alone, 37 US Navy ships were serviced by the company and part of its service is to collect tons of liquid wastes from these ships.

Retired vice admiral

The Malaysian company’s Philippine operation is headed by retired Vice Adm. Mateo Mayuga, chair and chief executive officer of Glenn Defense Marine Asia Philippines Inc. Mayuga is a former flag officer in command of the Philippine Navy.

In July 2005, Mayuga, then inspector general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, headed a panel that investigated the involvement of at least four military generals linked to the “Hello Garci” election fraud scandal.

The scandal involved tapped conversations supposedly between then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and then Election Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano on the alleged rigging of the 2004 presidential election results.

US Embassy statement

In a statement sent by e-mail, Cynthia Cook, deputy press attaché of the US Embassy in Manila, said: “We are aware of the allegations against Glenn Defense Marine Philippines, a contractor for the US Navy in the Philippines, and we understand there is an ongoing investigation by the Subic Bay Freeport authorities.”

Cook, however, said the US government would await the results of the investigation before it imposed sanctions, if any. “We will take appropriate action depending on the outcome of the investigation,” she said.

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NYKIOQEDTUD4FPPPVHP6XMFNEA Raul

    Galing sa China ang mga waste na to. Ibalik sa kanila.

    • pinoyusa2012

      is it happy hour……..

  • East_Crusader

    This article should have a title, 
    TOXIC WASTE DUMP IN SUBIC BY A MALASIAN COMPANY HEADED BY RETIRED VICE-ADMIRAL MATEO MAYUGA FORMERLY A FLAG OFFICER OF THE PHILIPPINE NAVY

  • Mamang Pulis

    Basag trip muna :

    I surmise that Glenn Defense has the proper documents and permits but was revoked on the last minute by the PCG due to :

    1–they are taking over local sewage collectors.  Let’s say  at 10,000php per truck haul and they are going to handle all the sewage of an aircraft carrier or a submarine—that’s a lot of truck—do your math.

    2–local s h i t  collectors lobbied to get Glenn Defense out of the sewage collection claiming such and such

    typical issues inside the base and the title of the news is absolutely written to attract the center and extreme left…

    to our fellow makabayans–

    what have you done clean our Pasig River?

    what have you done on the mine tailings on our rivers and tributaries?

    hello MMDA, DPWH—how’s your flood control gates along C6 from Cainta to Taguig? 

    hello makabayan–have you bothered to clean our esteros in Quiapo, Mendiola, Legarda?

    how about the tributaries running from San Juan river?

    • charlie_oscar

      Exacto! Subic was left in pristine condition except some issues of JP4 and petro-chemicals that needed cleaning-up. The US gave millions to the Philippines to help remove the toxic waste and only to have the SUB Freeport sell leases to the Koreans ship builders and dry dock – notorious about illegal dumping and toxic espionage. This case is about a Filipino operator dumping waste into the bay so he could save money (make more money) and here comes the Pinoy Nationalists blaming Uncle Sam. This is why America should just cut ties, fold the tent and go home….Same goes for Abu Sayef task force.

      • Mamang Pulis

         This case is about a Filipino operator dumping waste into the bay

        IF IT IS TREATED.

        so he could save money

        ayun na–unless the tanker has its own WWP that can process it pero  WALA.

        and that money intended for treatment went to the pockets of officials who are tasked to guard our shores & environment plus of course the captain of the ship.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NYKIOQEDTUD4FPPPVHP6XMFNEA Raul

    Chinese waste sent it back to China. Bwesssit!

  • bugoybanggers

    Dinala na lang sana ang barko at doon pinatapon sa SPRATLY ang toxic waste na iyan para mamamatay lahat ng isda na kakainin ng mga INTSIK.

  • http://twitter.com/Joe_The_Kano Joe Kano

    There is no allegation that waste was dumped into Subic Bay.
    The only allegation is that waste was dumped without a permit some 37 kilometers out to sea.
    And that allegation is starting to look VERY dubious.

  • sh1seadad

    To all you People complaining. Go to Olongapo City head to the Subic Freeport before you get to the gate of the Freeport there is a bridge under that bridge is a river and that river is the dirtiest smelliest river water in the world. It is full of raw sewage and toxic to every living thing and guess where it go right in to Subic Bay on two sides of the river. I would invite all you people that are blogging here to that means you Bayan and Santigo and all you other’s here go look for your selves and shut up because to see this river you must all be shy. Be my guest come to Olongapo and down Magsaysay Drive to the bridge and look down you must all be shy and ashamed of this river maybe someone should call Green Peace to have that checked out. And all you bloggers that have never seen this or checked out this river you need to do that because the Filipino people are killing themselves with this river running into Subic Bay.You must point your fingers at yourselves first before pointing at others.  SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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