PCG clears Chinese ship of liability
Commander Weniel Azcuna, PCG operations officer in Central Visayas, told the Inquirer the MV Ming Yuan, a Hong Kong-registered bulk carrier, had complied with all safety requirements.
But he said the vessel’s owner would have to pay a penalty for failing to file a notice of arrival, before it would be allowed to sail to its final destination.
Azcuna said a foreign vessel entering the Philippines is required to inform the bureaus of quarantine, immigration and customs of its arrival.
He said he did not know how much the fine was because it was the Bureau of Immigration that computes the penalty.
Azcuna said the bulk carrier arrived in the Philippines on May 19 from Taipei.
It headed to Isabel town in Leyte to pick up cargo that had not arrived.
The crew dropped anchor between Malapascua and Carnasa islands to await the arrival of the cargo but its presence raised suspicions among residents that the vessel was there to load the islands’ prized white sand.
Barangay officials informed Bantay Dagat and police about the vessel. The police informed the Coast Guard, which inspected the ship on Friday with representatives of the three bureaus.
The vessel is anchored 1.3 nautical miles northwest of Tapilon Point, Daanbantayan, Cebu.
Azcuna said representatives from the Chinese Embassy came to his office on Saturday to ask about the progress of their investigation as they were concerned about the safety of the 24 crewmen on board. Carmel Matus, Inquirer Visayas
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