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US sailors in Tubattaha Reef damage may escape punishment—DOTC chief



FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City – While the US government is liable for the damage one of its ships had caused along the Tubbataha Reef when it ran aground in January, the sailors responsible may not be punished as they are considered “men of war.”

“It becomes tricky diyan, ’cause it’s an accepted general practice of international law, that men of war, foreign naval vessels, enjoy immunity, especially if there is a line of duty, so that has been practiced nationwide, so it would be difficult on that part,” Department of Transportation and Communication Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said.

Speaking to reporters at the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Homecoming here, Abaya, a member of PMA Class 1988, said that their investigation was still ongoing and the damage has yet to be assessed.

“Hindi pa rin ma-assess eh, dahil di naman gumalaw yung barko, so we can only get an accurate picture if we’ve already lifted the ship,” he said.

“Some say they probably enjoyed too much of an RnR in Subic, some say, they said, error in digital charts, some say they were doing a different thing there on their own, all speculations, so it would be irresponsible on my part to even assume,” he said when asked what could probably be the reason why the ship USS Guardian ran aground.

Abaya said they were trying to be confident that the salvage operations would be finished by March.

“We try to be confident dahil coincidental ang operations dun eh, all dependent on the weather di ba, in as much as we want na tuluy-tuloy yung trabaho, pag lumala yung panahon, for personal safety we have to stop,” he said.

The JASCON 25, the main asset for the salvage operations for the ship, arrived Friday from Singapore.

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Tags: DOTC Secretary Emilio Abaya , Environment , Tubbataha Reef , US government , USS Guardian

  • Rex_Ranhilio

    Abaya might not have been referring to the crew of the Guardian, and the reporter may have misheard/misunderstood him. A “man o’war” is a warship. Which means this article doesnt make complete sense.

    • kanoy

      MOSCOW — Gym class came to a halt inside the Chelyabinsk Railway
      Institute, and students gathered around the window, gazing at the fat
      white contrail that arced its way across the morning sky. A missile? A
      comet? A few quiet moments passed. And then, with incredible force, the
      windows blew in.

      The scenes from Chelyabinsk, rocked by an intense shock wave when a meteor hit the Earth’s atmosphere Friday morning, offer a glimpse of an apocalyptic scenario that many have walked through mentally, and Hollywood has popularized, but scientists say has never before injured so many people.

      Students at the institute crammed through a staircase thickly blanketed
      with glass out to the street, where hundreds stood in awe, looking at
      the sky. The flash came in blinding white, so bright that the vivid
      shadows of buildings slid swiftly and sickeningly across the ground. It
      burst yellow, then orange. And then there was the sound of frightened,
      confused people.

      Around 1,200 people, 200 of them children, were injured, mostly by glass
      that exploded into schools and workplaces, according to Russia’s
      Interior Ministry. Others suffered skull trauma and broken bones. No
      deaths were reported. A city administrator in Chelyabinsk said that more
      than a million square feet of glass shattered, leaving many buildings
      exposed to icy cold.
      Estimates of the meteor’s size varied considerably. Peter G. Brown, a physics professor and director of the Center for Planetary Science and Exploration at the University of Western Ontario, said it was closer to 50 feet in diameter and probably weighed around 7,000 tons. He said the energy released by the explosion was equivalent to 300 kilotons of TNT, making it the largest recorded since the 1908 Tunguska explosion in Siberia, which is believed to have been caused by an asteroid.

      • http://www.facebook.com/matt.lee.1485 Matt Lee

        Don’t you know, anything non-Filipino related doesn’t get much attention here. Furthermore, anything that is pro-Filipino gets posted repeatedly. =)

      • Crazy_horse101010

        like the marine rape case and the feeding frenzy there. in cebu a old american stole 200 pisos of food in a store and it was big news in the papers crime of the century. a russian woman fought back when a gang of street her kids were robbing. she was arrested and charged. but no one pressed charges. it was in all the papers and people were screaming to have in  throw in prision. but i watched flippinos hitting these same kids when they were robbed and nothing said

      • kanoy


    • Mamang Pulis

      an daming ganyan ngayun sa inquirer—pasensyahan mo na—may tulfo kasi na tinitingala.

  • rouelcalzita

    In any professional exercise their is no perfect way. And on this particular incident, it has to be exonerated from any liability since they were in line of duty.

  • Mamang Pulis

    uy–nahahawa na si sec abaya sa mga sound bite ni mar boy bawang roxas—at anu naman ipapalag ng dotc sa mga yan?


  • DakuAkongUtin

    US navy has so many reckless high school dropout s amongst its ranks kaya maramig karantaduhan mga ito gaya magrerape ng kababaihan at murders. Nagpapabaya sa oras na dapat hindi sila nagpapabaya kasi ang daming coral reefs dyan .

    • Crazy_horse101010

      go get a banca and arrest crybaby. as i said before why arentyou here screaming  at the fisherman who are blasting every day instead siting on your lazy butt. their blasting every day and ive been waiting on the beach for but alas you have showed up and saved the 5 percent of the undamaged reefs left. this is done by flippino high school drop outs so i guess thats ok. im betting they have a higher education than you because it shows. hypocrite. 

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