HomeNewsOn the navy ship anchor in Sta. Cruz isle issue: PAEMB calls for sanctions vs erring officers

On the navy ship anchor in Sta. Cruz isle issue: PAEMB calls for sanctions vs erring officers

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The Protected Area Ecosystems Management Board (PAEMB) on Friday created a technical working group that will assess and appraise the damage to marine resources particularly the coral reefs as a result of the unauthorized anchor of a navy ship in Sta. Cruz Island recently.

Co-chaired by Mayor Beng Climaco and the DENR Regional Director, the PAEMB likewise urged the Philippine Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NAVFORWEM) to expedite the investigation on the officials involved in the incident and to submit the report as well as the recommended disciplinary actions, in a week’s time.

The meeting, convened by Mayor Climaco Friday afternoon at the City Hall conference room discussed the circumstances that led to the incident last April 28 and 29 involving BRP Tausug skippered by Lt. Darwin Guillarte and a certain Melad.

The team tasked to assess the extent as well as the value of the damage is composed of technical people from the City Government, DENR, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology, accredited divers and other concerned agencies. It is expected to come up with the assessment in a month’s time.

The assessment is purposely to determine the penalties to be imposed on the erring Navy officers and men aside from the disciplinary actions that they will be facing per result of the NAVFORWEM investigation.

Per report from the Protected Area Management Unit (PAMU, BRP Tausug, ferrying some 200 beach goers and without prior coordination dropped anchor at Sta. Cruz Island. When confronted by PAMU and Tourist Police, the ship’s skippers acted arrogantly and with gross disrespect, as they remained adamant in their decision to moor the boat in the prohibited area.

Based on initial assessment by the PAMU marine biologist, the destruction covered 10x10 feet of coral reef beds.

Mayor Climaco described the incident as unfortunate stating that some personnel of the Philippine Navy, which is a partner of the City Government in protecting Sta. Cruz island, committed the violation.