Quantcast
Latest Stories

SC issues writ over Tubbataha


MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court has issued a “writ of kalikasan” over the Tubbataha Reef that directs the Court of Appeals to determine whether the US Navy is criminally and administratively liable for the massive coral destruction in the reef by the grounding of the USS Guardian last Jan. 17.

Unconfirmed reports last night said majority of the 15 high court justices voted in favor of issuing a writ of kalikasan that a group of activists, Catholic bishops and environmental advocates had petitioned for last week.

With the writ, the high court remands the petition to the Court of Appeals, which will hold hearings on whether the high court should issue a temporary environmental protection order for the Tubbataha Reef protected site.

The high tribunal ordered Philippine and US Navy officials who were named as respondents in the case to file their comment within 10 days before the Court of Appeals.

The high court held its last full court (en banc) session last April 16 in Baguio City and will not convene again until June 4.

The petitioners who were named in the case were President Aquino; Vice Admiral Scott Swift, the commander of the US 7th Fleet; and Lt. Cmdr. Mark Rice, the commanding officer of the USS Guardian, as respondents.

The petitioners asked the high court to direct the government to file administrative, civil and criminal cases against those responsible for the grounding of the USS Guardian in the Tubbataha Reef.

They also asked the court to declare that the Philippine government had “primary and exclusive jurisdiction” over responsible US officials and to set aside any immunity enjoyed by US military members under the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

The petitioners also asked the high court to determine the fine to be imposed on the US Navy, saying the Philippine government’s estimate of $1.4 million in compensation was “too small.”

They said more than 2,000 square meters of the reef had been damaged by the grounding of the USS Guardian.

Environmental experts have said that it takes a number of years for damaged corals to recover.

The US Navy minesweeper had to be cut in pieces, with the last piece removed in late March.

The other respondents in the petition are Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, Executive Secretary Pacquito Ochoa, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje and several Armed Forces officials.

A writ of kalikasan is a legal remedy under Philippine law for persons or individuals whose constitutional right to “a balanced and healthful ecology” is violated by an unlawful act or omission of a public official, employee or private individual or entity.

It was made by the high court in 2010 when it issued the rules of procedure for environmental cases as a special civil action and has been sought to deal with environmental damage of such magnitude that it threatens life, health or property of inhabitants in two or more cities or provinces.—Dona Z. Pazzibugan


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: environmental issues , Philippines , Supreme Court , Tubbataha Reef , US , US Navy , USS Guardian , writ of kalikasan

  • ConcernedCitizenPh

    Those who petitioned are fake environmentalists who even sought for the fair treatment of the Chinese poachers and known pro-China activists who seek to drive the US away so China can resume its aggression on the Philippines. Why did the Supreme Court not consider the background of the petitioners in its decision on a matter that concerns national security and national interest?

  • Guest

    You failed to mention the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park Act of 2008 which
    also authored by Sen. Jamby. Mapagmahal kasi talaga siya sa kalikasan.

  • Guest

    This Tubbataha Reef Act, is now being used by the government in its
    claim for damages caused by the US navy vessel that ran aground the marine
    sanctuary in January. Thanks Jamby.



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  2. Afghan hospital guard kills 3 US doctors, including Fil-Am pediatrician
  3. HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  4. Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  5. Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  6. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  7. US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  8. Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  9. Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks
  10. Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  1. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  2. Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  3. Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  4. Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  5. 85% of Filipinos love US – survey
  6. 10 US presidents who visited the PH (and what they said)
  7. WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  8. 19 Ukrainians, Russians, Filipinas rescued in bar raid
  9. 150 Filipino teachers in Maryland to lose jobs, visas
  10. Japan mulls no visa rule for Filipinos
  1. US to China: We will protect Philippines
  2. Japan mulls no visa rule for Filipinos
  3. DFA grants visa-free privilege to 7 countries
  4. China warned: Don’t try to tow away BRP Sierra Madre
  5. Back home in Manila, and feeling out of place
  6. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  7. Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  8. China: PH tarnishing Beijing’s international image
  9. What’s inside BRP Sierra Madre?
  10. Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
Advertisement

News

  • Seabed search for missing Malaysian jet to widen
  • Lacson rejects calls to name ‘pork’ execs
  • Obama due in Seoul as North Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Hold departure order out vs Corona, Singson
  • Malaysia to release MH370 report–PM
  • Sports

  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Corruption not invincible after all
  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • China welcomes PH apology
  • Only 4 Etihad passengers not accounted for
  • Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • Marketplace