PCG spokesperson Commodore Armand Balilo said an Islander plane and an Airbus H145 helicopter were deployed to search in the vicinity of Tayamaan, Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro while the BRP Boracay and another vessel were sent to also look for the 12 fishermen, including the skipper.
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14 Pinoys missing in Mindoro sea mishap
Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - June 30, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) yesterday launched search and rescue operations for 14 Filipino fishermen and individuals whose boat capsized after it collided with a Hong Kong-registered vessel off Occidental Mindoro early Sunday.

PCG spokesperson Commodore Armand Balilo said an Islander plane and an Airbus H145 helicopter were deployed to search in the vicinity of Tayamaan, Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro while the BRP Boracay and another vessel were sent to also look for the 12 fishermen, including the skipper.

At around 1 a.m. on Sunday, the 14 Filipinos were onboard the fishing boat FV Liberty 5 when it collided with the Hong Kong-flagged cargo vessel MV Vienna Woods.

The FV Liberty 5’s homeport is Cagayan de Tawi-Tawi. It was headed to the Navotas fishport when the collision happened. The MV Vienna Woods came from Subic and was headed to Australia with 20 crewmen on board.

The captain of Vienna Woods reported the collision to maritime authorities and the ship was later escorted to Batangas port.

Initial information reaching PCG headquarters showed that bad weather and rough seas could have caused the collision.

Balilo said they have sent out a Notice to Mariners to all vessels in the area and requested them to be on the lookout for the 14 distressed Filipino fishermen and immediately report any information about the incident.

Malacañang said the incident would be governed by Philippine laws.

“This is an issue of Philippine Admiralty Law because the collision occurred in Philippine territorial waters. There is no international law application here other than foreign flagships can sail through under the concept of innocent passage,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said at a press briefing yesterday.

“But as far as accountability is concerned, Filipinos will decide on that because the collision happened within our waters,” he added.

Roque believes the collision will not have a huge implication on the Philippines’ relationship with China.

“You know the rules that apply to sea collisions are similar to collisions on roads. It won’t have a huge implication,” the Palace spokesman said. Alexis Romero

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