Party-list solon seeks probe of Tubbataha reef mishap



MANILA, Philippines—A partylist lawmaker wants a congressional inquiry into the US Navy ship which has been stuck on a coral reef in the Tubbataha National Marine Park, a World Heritage Site in the Sulu.

“The incident in Tubbataha is simply unforgivable,” said Kabataan Partylist Representative Raymond Palatino, referring to the USS Guardian, an Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship, which on Thursday hit the reef, some 80 nautical miles east-southeast of Palawan.

He said he would file a resolution seeking a congressional inquiry into the incident. “We will not let this pass unnoticed. It is time for us to vehemently oppose the US military’s damaging activities.”
“The continued presence of US troops in the Philippines has attacked our sovereignty in all terrains – land, air, and now our territorial waters,” Palatino said, citing reports that the US ship apparently got stuck in the coral reefs due to “misnavigation” after a routine port call in Subic Bay, a former American naval base in Zambales.

He raised the issue of a US drone found by fishermen off the coast of Masbate and “now, US ships come barging on our conservation parks.”

The legislator cited reports from the Tubbataha management office, saying that the US ship may have damaged a large portion of the coral reef.

He said that such damage would be in violation of Philippine laws like Republic Act 10067 or the Tubbataha Reefs National Park Act of 2009 and the US Navy may be fined P12,000 per square meter of damaged corals.

“While we are hoping that there would be no oil or toxic waste spill this time around, the youth condemns the recklessness of the US military that has resulted to this incident,” Palatino said, pointing out that the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Mutual Defense Treaty between the Philippines and the US were causing damages to the country’s natural resources.

“It is appalling, really appalling. These incidents are clearly lambasting our sovereignty. Yet, we never heard any apology from the US government nor is the Aquino administration condemning any of these incidents,” he said.

In 2005, the environmental group Greenpeace was fined almost $7,000 after its flagship struck a reef in the same area.

The World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines said in a statement that according to an initial ocular inspection, the 68-meter (74-yard) long, 1,300-ton Guardian damaged at least 10 meters (yards) of the reef.

Songco said that park rangers were not allowed to board the ship for inspection and were told to contact the U.S. Embassy in Manila. Their radio calls to the ship were ignored, she said.

The Tubbataha Reef is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the Coral Triangle, the world’s cradle of marine life. It is off-limits to fishing and the collection of corals, wildlife and any marine life is prohibited. In 1992, UNESCO designated the reef as a World Heritage Site.

US Navy ships have stepped up visits to Philippine ports for refueling, rest and recreation, and joint military exercises as a result of a redeployment of US forces in the Asia-Pacific region. The Philippines, a US defense treaty ally, has been entangled in a territorial dispute with China in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

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

  • spam1978

    they are clearing the mines planted by chinese

    • commentsandsuggestions

      well sorry ka.. inamin nila na tatanga tanga sila at sira ang navigation nila..

  • joboni96

    another u.s. imperialist psywar operation
    to break down pilipino resistance to u.s. recolonization

    the recovered drone was another similar psywar operation of the imperialist

    kompiskahin na yang barko na yan tulad sa mga intsik switik fishermen

    ng may magamit pang depensa sa mga intsik switik
    courtesy of imperialist u.s.

    ito ang resulta ng trabaho ng mga collaborators
    1. sa dfa tulad ni usec basilio
    2. sa dnd tulad ni usec batino


    mapapahamak tayo sa kabastosan at kabobohan ng u.s. navy

    • Joe Kano

      Little green men from mars live under your bed.
      They’re out to get you.
      They’re behind everything.
       Bayan told me so.

      • joboni96

        nais kitang pasalamatan
        cia joe call center agent

        for continually reading my posts
        not only because you are required and paid to

        but more importantly

        na rereeducate na ang
        kolonisado mong utak

      • Joe Kano

         only because your delusions are pretty hilarious
        ikaw, kolonisado mong utak talaga

      • joboni96

        ang pagsira ng barko ng imperyalistang navy sa tubbataha
        ay singtulad ng pagsira ng imperyalistang u.s. sa bayan nating pilipinas

        u.s. – kastila war 1898
        pilipino – u.s. war 1899-1912 1+ million pilipinos died
        u.s. – japan war ww2 nasira pilipinas, 1 million pilipinos died
        u.s. – korea war 1950-1953 100+ pilipino casualties
        u.s. – vietnam war 1960s-70s used philippines as staging area, pilipino casualties
        u.s. – tsina war 20?? modern weapons will result in higher casualties

        hindi pa kasama dyan ang mga kinulimbat nilang
        gold at ibang mahalagang metal
        pag kalbo sa kabundukan kaya tayo binabaha ngayon
        parity rights na ginamit pang darambong
        etc etc

        ang agenda ng imperyalista
        gawing base ang bayan natin na naman
        sa gerra nila sa pinagkakautangang intsik switik

        na tayo na naman ang tatamaan
        habang sitting pretty sila unscathed
        thousands of miles away

        ang barkong ito ay another imperialist psywar operation
        to break down pilipino resistance to recolonization
        the recovered drone was another similar psywar operation of the imperialist
        yung sa scarborough, tonkin gulf incident style pakana din nila


        ng hindi gawing bases ang bayan natin ng imperyalistang u.s.
        sa napipintong gerra nila kontra hegemonistang intsik

        magpalakas ng pro pilipino defense
        kasama mga kapit bayan natin
        para pigilin ang intsik switik sea grabbing

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