Aquino: US should answer questions on ship grounding


Giant waves batter the USS Guardian, a minesweeper that ran aground in the POWERLESS. Tubbataha Reefs in the Sulu Sea, tossing the ship some 90 degrees from its position on Thursday (inset) and making it parallel to the reef line. The photographs are courtesy of the AFP Western Command

MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday said the United States had to explain how and why its ship had run aground in a protected area like the Tubbataha Reefs but the “first priority” was to remove the USS Guardian and contain the damage it made in the world heritage site.

“After they do that and we’re finished with the immediate issue, then they have to answer so many things. What are you doing in an environmentally protected area?” Aquino told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in an interview following the turnover ceremonies of the new Commanding General of the Philippine Army at Fort Bonifacio.

Aquino noted that US Navy ships had “some of the most sophisticated navigational equipment.”

“And when you assess liabilities and culpabilities, exactly what are the mechanisms or what do they have to pay us? Fines? What are the sanctions? But that has to be secondary to removing the ship,” he said.

Aquino said that in removing the USS Guardian from the reef, “we want to ensure that there would not be more damage created.”

“The first priority is stop the damage being made,” he said.

Aquino noted that the Coast Guard is already at the area with oil booms to ensure that it could immediately contain any leak from the ship.

Meanwhile, US Vice Adm. Thomas Carney, the Logistics Group Commander for the Western Pacific, had left Puerto Princesa, Palawan, for Tubbataha Reef on Monday to oversee the recovery operations for the USS Guardian minesweeper.

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  • Mang Teban

    Pangulong Noynoy:
    Ang tagal mo namang mag-react.
    Kailangan pa bang abutin ng limang araw bago ka man lang nagsalita?

  • i_am_filipino

    What is their damage stability calculation. I wonder if the commanding officer knows how to use it. If a bigger ship will require to pull it like a car from aft as what the philippine navy is saying, they should be aware of the center of gravity of the two fuel tanks which means that more weight will shift forward and therefore more damage will create underneath and as well as the reef and a large listing will experience hopefully not capsize. There is a possibility of the fuel tanks to overflow if it is more than 90 percent full and spill onto the sea.They didnt mention about the ballast tanks if any.

  • DakuAkongUtin

    Isa lang ang sagot dyan sir, Gusto ng mga puti at negro mag scuba diving sa may Tubbataha Reef  , Who would stop them from doing so ?They are a fearsome looking US navy ship flying US flag . No one would challenge them. Or they are there so they can plant clandestinely hydrophones hidden in those reefs so they can monitor movement of  ships in the area. ?

  • disqusted0fu

    As usual, late reaction from Pnoy. After almost a week of silence on the issue, that’s all Pnoy has to say? He just basically again stated the obvious and asked the questions that every citizen has been asking since the incident happened. How does that make him different from regular citizens? How does that make him a chief executive?

    He’s still in full noynoying form. At least he is consistent in something.

  • Edgardo Mendoza

    mr. preident sabihan mo america palitan nila yung nasira nila ng 1 squadron na f16 brand new wag second hand!

  • joboni96

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

    ng may magamit pang depensa sa mga intsik switik

    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 style pakana din nila

    pag kulang ang aksyon natin dito
    next time mas malala gagawin nila


    mapapahamak tayo sa kabobohan ng u.s. navy

    • Joe Kano

       Sirang plaka.

      • joboni96

        basa pa

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