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Bataan CG refuses to disclose details on sunken vessel’s permit

March 18, 2023 Christian D. Supnad 1168 views

LIMAY, Bataan – In an apparent avoiding responsibility for the ill-fated MT Princess Empress, Bataan Coast Guard commander Jonathan Serote refused to answer questions about why the local coast guard here allowed it to depart allegedly without proper clearance.

People’s Journal Tonight, through this writer, went all the way to the coast guard station in Barangay Lamao here to seek clarification following reports that the coast guard personnel “allowed” the sunken vessel to sail “without proper inspection and clearance.”

But Serote kept mum regarding the MT Princess Empress’ permit.

When pressed by this writer if there were “lapses” in allowing the oil tanker to depart from this port that resulted in its sinking, Serote declined to answer but pointed to the spokesperson of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in their national headquarters for an official answer.

“I am not allowed and authorized to speak about it as we have an official spokesman to answer it in Manila,” said Serote, the head of the coast guard personnel here.

He said that an investigation is ongoing and that they are just waiting for its outcome.

Asked if he is willing to testify in a congressional hearing, he said in affirmative.

PCG on Wednesday said it is investigating the “authenticity” of the permit presented to its personnel to allow MT Princess Empress to sail at least four times before it sank off the waters of Oriental Mindoro, causing an oil spill that threatens ecosystems and communities.

The shipowners denied that they had an approved CPC (certificate of public convenience) at the recent Senate hearing.

The oil spill caused by the motor tanker has affected over 108,000 people in 118 barangays in Oriental Mindoro and Palawan, according to the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).