Sarangani Bay shoreline. Photo courtesy of Sarangani Information Office
GLAN, Sarangani—Mayor Victor James Yap Sr. filed charges Monday against 11 officers and crew of two foreign vessels that allegedly dumped pollutants into Sarangani Bay last May.
He filed a complaint before Sarangani prosecutor Felipe Vicente Velasco at the Justice on Wheels mobile court against the foreign mariners of Oceania 2 barge and its tugboat, TB Oceania 1.
The charge sheet listed Capt. Samsudin, Kyaw Htay, Shwe Thann, Keso Bin Tarjuki,
Tu Kah Hua, Tar Var Linmyint, M. Fauzi Bin Apandi, Kumaedi, Russetia Wahit, M. Zaiful Hosen, and Lau Nai Sing, who are believed to be Malaysian, Indonesian and Myanmar nationals.
They were charged for violation of the Clean Water Act, the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 1992, marine pollution under PD 979, and Fisheries Code of 1998.
In his complaint affidavit, Yap said that the foreigners “willfully and feloniously dumped pollutants on the sea water believed to be coal, of quantity incapable of being known or estimated.”
The incident happened “on 26 May 2012, at about 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon, while on board their vessels TB Oceania 1 and Oceania 2, which vessels were stationed at about 200 meters from one of the beaches in Sitio Kabug, Barangay Kapatan.”
He said the place was within Glan’s municipal waters and inside the Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape.
A Sarangani Information Office photographer, who was on a nearby resort, caught the incident on camera and sent pictures to higher authorities. This led the Philippine Coast Guard to hold the vessels and crew.
The vessels are in custody at the International Port of Glan.
“The area, where the acts of dumping pollutants (was committed), is fronting a private resort named Belmar Ecopark Beach Resort,” the complaint said, citing accounts of onlookers.
“One of the witnesses named Marcelino W. Tangaro, owner of the beach resort, boarded a small boat, came near the two vessels, pacified the respondents in their illegal activities of dumping pollutants on the seawater by talking with its captain, which the latter heeded by asking his men to halt,” Yap said.
The Coast Guard said the vessels had unloaded their coal cargo in Manila and were set to load scrap metals at General Santos City seaport as consigned by Cebu Metal before heading for Malaysia.
The cargo, however, was unavailable on time thus the illegal anchorage in Kapatan.
Published on Manila Standard Today: http://manilastandardtoday.com/www2/2012/07/18/11-aliens-sued-for-polluting-bay/