Boxes of smuggled cigarettes, ammonium nitrate seized in waters off El Nido

Robie de Guzman   •   July 8, 2021   •   500

A boat loaded with sacks of ammonium nitrate and boxes of smuggled cigarettes was seized in the vicinity waters off Malampaya Gas Platform in Palawan, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said.

The PCG said the BRP Cabra (MRRV-4409) intercepted the boat carrying a total of 25 sacks of ammonium nitrate and four styro boxes of smuggled cigarettes during a hot pursuit on July 4.

While the PCG and BFAR were advising other small motorized vessels to return to El Nido Port or their respective residences due to the bad weather in the area, BRP Cabra  spotted a boat identified as M/B Escario Express A proceeding towards the waters off Malampaya Gas Platform.

“As the Coast Guard approached the boat, it was found to be more suspicious that it might be carrying contrabands as it started to speed up and immediately fled the area,” the PCG said.

“After the hot pursuit that lasted for more than 25 minutes, subject motorbanca was finally intercepted by the Coast Guard authorities,” it added.

When joint inspection team of CGS El Nido, PCG K9, and BFAR MCS 3002 conducted boarding inspection, authorities found the boat to have styro boxes filled with smuggled cigarettes and sacks positively identified containing ammonium nitrate.

After conduct of initial safety inspection, the PCG said that the vessel was also found with no possession of any pertinent documents.

PH Coast Guard sends supplies to residents of Pag-asa Island

Robie de Guzman   •   November 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Tuesday said it delivered fishing gears and basic supplies to Pag-asa Island, Kalayaan in Palawan over the weekend.

In a statement, PCG spokesperson Commodore Armando Balilo said they turned over the supplies to the local government of Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) in line with the efforts of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to support the operations of local fishermen in remote territories.

The PCG also ferried provisions for its personnel and policemen stationed on the island.

“Relieving personnel were also transported to provide sufficient rest period to deployed law enforcement teams which is necessary in upholding public health and safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” Balilo said.

PCG Commandant, Admiral Leopoldo Laroya said their routine mission in the country’s maritime zones is part of the agency’s commitment to the government’s whole-of-nation approach in safeguarding national interests through rules-based and peaceful approach.

While on their way to Pag-asa Island, the PCG said it monitored a China Coast Guard (CCG) vessel approximately one to two nautical miles away from their vessel but it did not issue a radio challenge.

Pag-asa Island is located some 450 kilometers west of Palawan. It is home to a civilian community and a military outpost.

The presence of Chinese vessels near the island has been reported amid tensions between Manila and Beijing over territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea.

PCG launches second 97-meter ship in Japan

Robie de Guzman   •   November 18, 2021

 MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Thursday launched its second 97-meter multi-role response vessel (MRRV), the largest in its fleet, at the Shimonoseki Shipyard of Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. in Japan.

In a statement, the PCG said the vessel was acquired by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for the PCG under the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project Phase II.

“These MRRV’s modeled after the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) Kunigami-class vessels are expected to improve the PCG’s maritime security and maritime safety capabilities,” the coast guard said.

The PCG said that each of the new MRRVs has a maximum speed of not less than 24 knots, and an endurance of not less than 4,000 nautical miles.

The ships are capable of conducting sustained maritime patrols in the country’s maritime jurisdictions, including the West Philippine Sea and Philippine Rise.

“The two vessels will significantly boost the capabilities of the PCG in conducting maritime search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations,” the PCG said.

The first MRRV was launched in the same shipyard on July 26, 2021. It is expected to arrive in Manila by March 2022 while the second vessel will follow months later.

33 individuals apprehended in Cavite waters for illegal fishing – PCG

Robie de Guzman   •   November 10, 2021

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Wednesday said it has apprehended 33 individuals allegedly engaging in illegal fishing operations in waters off Cavite City.

In a report, the PCG said the local fishermen were on board seven motorbancas from Tangos, Navotas City.

They were caught while conducting actual trawl fishing activity 2.5 nautical miles off Sangley Point on November 9, it added.

“They were informed that they violated Cavite City Ordinance Number 06 – 3149 Section 2 (Trawl and Fine Mesh Net Fishing Inside Municipal Waters),” the coast guard said.

The PCG said the apprehended motorbancas were brought to the impounding areas at Barangay 49-M Akasya, Cavite City for proper documentation and filing of appropriate charges.

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