Raps dismissed vs Chinese vessel that rammed Philippine boat
Families of seafarers who perished at sea, accompanied by members of the Philippine Coast Guard, hold a wreath-laying ceremony at Manila Bay yesterday.
Edd Gumban

Raps dismissed vs Chinese vessel that rammed Philippine boat

Robertzon Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - September 28, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The provincial prosecutor’s office in Occidental Mindoro has dismissed the charges the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) filed against Hong Kong-flagged M/V Vienna Wood, which hit the fishing vessel Liberty 5 off Mamburao in Occidental Mindoro last June.

Fourteen Filipinos went missing in the incident and have not been found despite days of search and rescue efforts.

PCG spokesman Commodore Armand Balilo told reporters yesterday that the Vienna Wood was allowed to leave the country last Sept. 17 after the complaints were dismissed and the hold departure order against its officers lifted.

Although he has not obtained a copy of the decision yet, Balilo said the settlement between the Vienna Wood and kin of the 14 Filipinos as well as the owner of F/V Liberty 5 might have been the ground in dismissing the case for reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and damage to property.

“The case was dismissed by the provincial prosecutor. M/V Vienna Wood was allowed to leave last September 17,” Balilo told reporters yesterday when asked on the update of the case.

At least 14 Filipinos went missing in the waters off Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro last June when the bulk carrier hit Liberty 5, which was heading towards the Navotas fishport from its homeport in Cagayan de Tawi-Tawi.

The PCG and some rescue teams conducted search and rescue operations for a few weeks, but failed to see any signs of life.

Charges were filed against Vienna Wood officers Zhang Weiwei, Shin Bin, Yi Lei and Yang Xileng as well as the Nomikos Transworld Maritime, its shipping company.

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