Answer SC on Tubbataha case, US govt told
Dennis Carcamo (The Philippine Star) - June 24, 2013 - 10:24am
MANILA, Philippines - Fisherfolk group Pamalakaya on Monday called on the US government to comply with the order of the Supreme Court (SC) to explain what transpired during the grounding of ex-minesweeper USS Guardian, which ran aground in Tubbataha Reef last January 17.
 
Vice chairperson Salvardor France of Pamalakaya, one of the petitioners in the writ of kalikasan filed before the High Court, said the US government should respond to the SC and refrain from invoking several concerns that would make it very difficult for concerned groups which filed the petition. 
 
"The incident merits the filing of criminal and other appropriate charges against officials and the 79 other crew of USS Guardian and the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Mutual Defense Treaty between Manila and Washington," France added.
 
Multi-sectoral group included Bishop Pedro Arigo of Puerto Princesa, Palawan; Bishop Deogracias Iniguez Jr., Bishop-Emeritus of Caloocan; Frances Quimpo, Clemente Bautista Jr. of Kalikasan-Pne; Maria Carolina Araullo and Renato Reyes Jr. of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan; Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares; Roland Simbulan of Junk VFA Movement; and  Kabataan party-list Rep. Raymond Palatino. 
 
In a 90-page petition filed last April 17, the group asked the SC to assess the damage on the reef due to the grounding of the USS Guardian. 
 
Apart from issuance of the writ and Temporary Environmental Protection Order, the group also sought a determination of the fine to be imposed on the US Navy and the prosecution of the officers of the Guardian.
 
Petitioners are also asking the SC to order a stop to US war games and port calls by US ships in the absence of clear guidelines on environmental protection under the VFA.
 
The petitioners are seeking seeking higher penalties for and criminal prosecution of US Navy officers and crew of the USS Guardian, which ran aground on Tubbataha Reef last January. 

BAYAN MUNA REP BISHOP DEOGRACIAS INIGUEZ JR. BISHOP PEDRO ARIGO OF PUERTO PRINCESA BISHOP-EMERITUS OF CALOOCAN CLEMENTE BAUTISTA JR. OF KALIKASAN-PNE FRANCES QUIMPO HIGH COURT MANILA AND WASHINGTON TUBBATAHA REEF
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