PCG searches for 14 missing in sea collision in Occidental Mindoro
Marje Pelayo • June 29, 2020 • 397
MANILA, Philippines — Twelve fishermen and two passengers went missing after a Hong Kong-registered cargo vessel collided with a local fishing boat off the waters of Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro on Monday morning (June 29).
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) immediately launched a search and rescue operation for the missing fishermen which included the captain of the fishing vessel.
Two aerial assets were initially deployed followed by a multi-role response vessel to further intensify the search for the victims.
The cargo ship, identified as MV Vienna Wood, is an empty bulk carrier from Subic, Zambales bound for Australia with 20 crew members on board.
Meanwhile, the local fishing boat FV Liberty 5 bound for Navotas fishport in Manila had 12 fishermen and two passengers on board.
Its last port of origin was Cagayan de Tawi-Tawi. MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)
A jail facility in Occidental Mindoro launched an E-dalaw Program for persons deprived of liberty (PDL) to still be able to see their loved ones.
The San Jose District Jail installed computers for PDLs to be able to video call their relatives amid the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).
According to San Jose District Jail Welfare and Development Officer JO1 Archie Familara said the E-dalaw can help the PDLs cope with the effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
There are currently 129 detainees inside the jail, 12 of whom have already been released since the implementation of the ECQ.
“Ito ang pinakamagandang activity since wala po tayong contact, wala tayong dalaw na personal (This is the best activity since we have no contact, no personal visits). Mayroon tayong (we have) video conferencing with the family,” he said. AAC (with reports from Von San Pedro)
MANILA, Philippines – Authorities are still looking for Alvin Bantugan, a crew of F/B Gemver 1, more than a week after the onset of Typhoon Ursula in Occidental Mindoro.
According to his wife Hazel, he was looking after their motor banca when large waves came ashore and washed him away along with the sea vessel.
“Kalmang kalma iyon, tapos biglang dalawang bugso (The sea was calm that day. Suddenly, the waves went wild),” she said.
“Doon po siya naanod, sa unahan daw po siya ng bangkang GemVer 1. Bigla na lang po iyong tumaob. Bukod tangi po siyang hindi nakikita sa mga tauhan, (That’s when he was washed away. The motor banca turned upside down over him. He was the only one left missing),” she added.
Aside from his missing husband, Hazel is also worried because no one would help her repair the damages caused by the typhoon to their house.
“Sana po matulungan ni Mayor kami na makita ang aking asawa, (I pray that our Mayor can help us search for my husband),” she asked.
“At matulungan niya ako dahil sira pa rin po ang aking bahay (I also ask for help in the repair my house,)” she added.
F/B Gemver 1 was the same sea vessel involved in the controversial maritime incident with a Chinese vessel in West Philippine Sea last year.
It took five months to repair the vessel’s damage before it was able to venture out again at sea. – MNP (with reports from Von San Pedro)
MANILA, Philippines – The Filipino fishing boat was ‘hit’ and ‘rammed’.
This was emphasized by the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) after numerous versions of the incident in Recto Bank surfaced over the weekend.
Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol answered questions on his social media account “to correct insinuations that the Filipino fishermen lied” about the incident.
“The captain and crew of the fishing boat stated from the very beginning that they were hit by a Chinese boat. The Chinese initially said it was not certain but later on admitted that the vessel involved in the “ramming” or collision incident was indeed a Chinese boat,” Piñol explained, referring to the question of whether it was indeed a Chinese vessel which hit F/B GEN-VER 1 of the Filipino fishermen.
Piñol also confirmed that the Filipino fishing boat indeed sank, to clear doubts after the vessel was shown sailing back to San Jose in Oriental Mindoro aided by the Philippine Navy.
“The captain and the crew said they had to jump into the water because their boat sank,” the Agriculture Secretary emphasized.
He posted a photo sent by BFAR Director Elizer Salilig which showed a sunken F/B GEN-VER 1 with its bow jutting out of the water.
“Rescuers later refloated the boat and repaired its damaged tailfin,” he added.
The captain of the Filipino boat in an interview said they were rescued by Vietnamese crewmen who were in the vicinity.
“Nagsenyasan kami. Sabi niya: ‘Vietnam, Philippines friends,'” kaya alam kong Vietnam,” Junel Insigne, the captain of the Filipino fishing boat said.
(We used sign language. He said: “Vietnam, Philippines friends,” that’s how I knew they were Vietnamese.)
On Friday, China’s Embassy in Manila admitted that it was a Chinese vessel that hit a Philippine boat at Recto Bank on Sunday (June 9).
However, China claimed that the Chinese vessel Yuemaobinyu 42212 was berthed at the vicinity when “suddenly besieged by 7 or 8 Filipino fishing boats.”
“During evacuation, 42212 failed to shun a Filipino fishing boat, and its steel cable on the lighting grid of larboard bumped into the Filipino pilothouse. The Filipino fishing boat tilted and its stern foundered,” the Embassy said in the statement.
“The Chinese captain tried to rescue the Filipino fishermen, but was afraid of being besieged by other Filipino fishing boats,” the statement read further.
The Embassy said that the Chinese crewmen decided to sail away after confirming that the fishermen from the Filipino boat were rescued by other Filipino fishing boats.
“The above shows that there is no such thing as “hit-and-run”, the Chinese Embassy said.
It added that China will continue to properly handle the issue with the Philippines “in a serious and responsible manner.”
“The two sides are maintaining close communication through diplomatic channels,” it added.
Amid the issues surrounding the incident, Secretary Piñol believes it is best to conduct an investigation on the matter.
“Whether it was an accidental collision or intentional ramming is an issue that is better resolved through the conduct of a maritime investigation,” he concluded.
Piñol said they already submitted the incident report to President Rodrigo Duterte. — with reports from Rosalie Coz
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