On Jan. 17, 2013, while sailing to Indonesia following a port call on Subic Bay, the minesweeper ship USS Guardian ran aground on the south atoll of the Tubbataha Reefs, a delicate ecosystem in the Sulu Sea treasured for its rich marine biodiversity.
By TJ Burgonio and Dona Z. Pazzibugan
Almost two years after the incident, the United States finally agreed to pay P87 million for the damage caused by its Navy ship on the Tubbataha Reefs in Palawan province, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said on Friday.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Wednesday it would continue to pursue its talks with the United States in getting full compensation for the damage that a US Navy ship caused when it ran aground on Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park last year.
A writ of kalikasan (nature) is a legal remedy under Philippine law for persons 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.
By Tetch Torres-Tupas
The Supreme Court has rejected a bid by environmental groups to require the USS Guardian to pay for damages when it ran aground and damaged the Tubbataha Reef in Palawan.
In a decision penned by Associate Justice Martin Villarama, the high court said damages should be made in a separate civil suit as provided under the writ of kalikasan.