Dec 312016


Thousands of passengers arrive in droves at the various provincial bus stations in Cubao, Quezon City Friday (Dec. 23, 2016). A number of them have been at the station as early as Thursday night hoping to catch the earliest bus bound for their respective destinations. (MNS photo)

Thousands of passengers arrive in droves at the various provincial bus stations in Cubao, Quezon City Friday (Dec. 23, 2016). A number of them have been at the station as early as Thursday night hoping to catch the earliest bus bound for their respective destinations. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Dec 24 (Mabuhay) — Passengers have been barred by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and other port authorities from leaving ports in anticipation for Typhoon Nina (international name Nock-Ten).

In a tweet, the PCG wrote that a total of 3,682 passengers have been stranded in ports of Bicol, where Nina is expected to transition after it makes landfall in the Catanduanes-Camarines area by Sunday evening.

PCG also counted 392 RoRos, 17 sea vessels, and 6 MBCas stranded in Bicol ports due to possible storm surges that may reach two meters over coastal areas of the Quezon-Bicol Region-Samar area.

As of 6 a.m. on Saturday, the PCG counted 26,889 passengers in all ports nationwide.

Weather bureau PAGASA announced that sea travel is risky “over seaboards of Northern Luzon and the eastern seaboards of Central Luzon, Southern Luzon & of Visayas due to the surge of Northeast Monsoon and Nina.”(MNS)

Apr 172014
PCG: 2 coast guards implicated in Taiwan fisherman’s death have lawyered up

The Philippine Coast Guard on Thursday revealed that two PCG members ordered arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman last year have consulted their lawyers. “They have their private lawyers already,” PCG spokesman Lt. Cdr. Armand Balilo told GMA News Online in a text message. The two, Coast Guard Commanding Officer Arnold Dela Cruz and Seaman First Class Mhelvin Bendo, have lawyered up after a Cagayan court ordered their arrest for obstruction of justice in connection with the death of Hung Shih-cheng in disputed waters in May 2013. The warrants were issued by the Municipal Trial Court Branch 11 in Sta. Ana, Cagayan. The judge set the bail at P12,000 each, which can be posted in any trial court in the Philippines, Navera said. However, when asked if the two have posted bail, Balilo said he was not aware of Dela Cruz and Bendo’s current status with the law. “I have no information of their whereabouts,” he said. The charges against the two stemmed from the alleged falsification of Dela Cruz’s unit’s monthly gunnery reports “in order to reflect a smaller amount of ammunition used during the shooting incident,” according to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), which investigated the case. Charged along with the two were SN1 Marvin Ramirez and LTJG Martin Bernabe. Apart from obstruction of justice charges, separate cases of homicide have also been lodged against Dela Cruz, Bendo and six other PCG men. Hung, 65, was killed on May 9, 2013 in the Read More …

Mar 182014
Raps filed in Taiwan fisher’s death

By Christine O. AvendañoPhilippine Daily Inquirer 9:23 am | Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 Taiwanese investigators look at a portion of a ship involved in the shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman as they ride a rubber boat with the Philippine Coast Guard while they continue their probe in Manila, Philippines on Tuesday May 28, 2013. AP FILE PHOTO MANILA, Philippines—Eight officers and personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will be charged with homicide for the May 2013 fatal shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman in the Balintang Channel, an incident that strained ties between Manila and Taipei. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Tuesday said a panel of Department of Justice prosecutors had found probable cause to charge the eight PCG in the death of Taiwanese fisherman Hong Shi Cheng. To be charged are PCG commanding officer Arnold Enriquez de la Cruz; Seamen 1st Class Edrando Quiapo Aguila, Mhelvin Aguilar Bendo II, Andy Gibb Ronario Golfo, Sunny Galanf Masangcay and Henry Baco Solomon; Seaman 2nd Class Nicky Renold Aurelio and Petty Officer 2 Richard Fernandez Corpuz. De la Cruz and Bendo will also be charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly falsifying the monthly gunner report dated May 11, 2013. The DOJ panel dismissed the other charge of obstruction of justice against De la Cruz, Lt. Junior Grade Martin Bernabe, Ramirez and Bendo this time for the deletion of video clips from the SD cards and compact discs submitted to the NBI as this was accidentally done. The homicide charges will Read More …

Mar 022014
No Coast Guard vessels near Panatag Shoal, says spokesman

This undated handout photo taken by the Philippine Navy and released April 11, 2012, by the Department of Foreign Affairs shows Chinese surveillance ships off Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal. AFP FILE PHOTO MANILA, Philippines – Not a single Philippine Coast Guard vessel has been deployed to Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal) since Coast Guard ships and their Chinese counterparts faced off in that part of the West Philippine Sea for two weeks in mid-2012. The Inquirer learned this Monday from Cmdr. Armand Balilo, chief of the Coast Guard’s public affairs office, who said, however that the search-and-rescue vessel BRP Corregidor (001) and the buoy tender BRP San Juan (AE-391) were “on standby” at the PCG headquarters in Manila and could be sent to the area “if ordered by the higher-ups.” By higher-ups Balilo was referring to “Malacañang through the DOTC,” not the Western Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which has been tasked by the government to oversee security in the West Philippine Sea. The Coast Guard is now under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transport and Communication. It used to be part of the Philippine Navy. The 540-ton Corregidor is 56 meters long, has a cruising speed of  26 knots and a cruising range of more than 1,000 nautical miles. Built by the Australian shipbuilding firm Tenix, the multirole vessel was commissioned by the PCG in June 2002. It was one of several PCG vessels that ferried relief goods to Eastern Visayas provinces ravaged by Supertyphoon Yolanda in Read More …

Sep 302013
Coast Guard insists it was not liable for death of Taiwanese fisherman

By Tetch 2:28 pm | Monday, September 30th, 2013 AFP FILE PHOTO/PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD MANILA, Philippines—There is no evidence to hold the Philippine Coast Guard liable for the death of a Taiwanese fisherman, according to a joint affidavit it submitted to the Department of Justice stated. In a counter-affidavit, Commander Arnold Dela Cruz, Seaman 1st class Edrando Aguila, Sonny Masangcay and Henry Solomon said Philippine investigators from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) were not allowed to directly examine the vessel used by the fishermen during the incident nor were they allowed to autopsy the body of Hung Shih-Cheng who was allegedly shot by the PCG crewmen on board MCS 3001. The NBI in their complaint alleged that the bullet from the Springfield Caliber 7.62 mm M-14 rifle killed Cheng and that SN1 Endrando Aguila was the one who fired the said firearm. However, in their counter-affidavit, they pointed that Hiyasmin Abarrientos, one of the NBI’s ballisticians, admitted that she was not able to conduct a proper ballistics test and cross-matching on the M-14 as well as the slugs recovered from the boat. While in Taiwan to examine the vessel, she said they found a bullet from a caliber 7.62 mm rifle lodged at the pipe in the ceiling of the fish storage of the vessel but she was not allowed by the Taiwanese authorities to extract the bullet. “In other words, Abarrientos herself admits that the correct and scientific manner by which a ballistics test is conducted is Read More …

Aug 242013
Ship runs aground in Palawan

Philippine Daily Inquirer 5:35 am | Sunday, August 25th, 2013 MANILA, Philippines—A foreign vessel ran aground in Palawan on Saturday morning, according to a Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) report released late Saturday afternoon. According to PCG spokesperson Cmdr. Armand Balilo, the MT Glenn Australia ran aground some 600 meters from the shore south of Barangay Panlaitan, Busuanga, Palawan. The vessel, skippered by Burma (Myanmar) national Capt. Myint Swe, is said to be owned by Glenn Defense Marine (Asia) Pte. Ltd. and operated by Singapore-based Shokuyo Navigation Co. Apart from the ship captain, also on board the ship were nine crew members—eight Burmese and one Filipino. PCG District Palawan Commander Erick Evangelista immediately directed PCG Station Coron to coordinate on towing operations to free the vessel. Initial investigation showed that the vessel was loaded with 1,010.794 tons of palm oil. Balilo said there was no oil spill at the site of the incident as the ship was a double-hulled vessel. Tina G. Santos Follow Us Recent Stories: Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines. Tags: Armand Balilo , Barangay Panlaitan , Busuanga , Glenn Defense Marine , Palawan , PCG report , Philippine Coast Guard Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer’s Reader’s Advocate. Or write Read More …

Aug 052013
Manila to apologize for Taiwan fisherman’s death—daughter

Agence France-Presse 8:52 pm | Monday, August 5th, 2013 Taiwan government experts along with National Bureau of Investigation personnel are onboard the Philippine Coast Guard’s (PCG) patrol boat Maritime Control Surveillance 3001, the patrol boat used by PCG when the fatal shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman happened, docked at a pier in Manila on May 28, 2013.  AFP FILE PHOTO TAIPEI — The Philippines will send a special envoy to Taiwan to apologize for the fatal shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman, his daughter said Monday, signalling a potential breakthrough in a major row. The remarks sparked hopes that the conciliatory move, if realized, could ease the strained relationship between Taipei and Manila following the shooting of 65-year-old Hung Shih-cheng on May 9 in disputed waters. “The Filipino side has agreed to apologize to us in a public manner,” Hung Tzu-ching, the fisherman’s daughter, told reporters in Pingtung city, adding that the agreement was made with lawyers authorized by the Filipino government. “They have agreed to send a special envoy (over the matter)… we insist the representative must represent the Filipino government. They will let us know in advance who will be appointed. If we feel the designated representative is OK, then the time will be decided,” she said. Officials at Manila’s Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei, the Philippines de facto embassy in Taiwan, were not immediately available for comment. A presidential spokeswoman in Manila said she had no immediate confirmation of the move. Taiwan’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Anna Kao Read More …

Jul 222013
3 Filipino fishers hit by storm to be repatriated from Taiwan—PCG

By Jerry E. EsplanadaPhilippine Daily Inquirer 1:06 pm | Monday, July 22nd, 2013 MANILA, Philippines—The government will repatriate shortly three Filipino fishermen who were rescued Saturday by Taiwanese coast guard about 80 nautical miles off Kaohsiung port in southern Taiwan days after they were caught in storm last week, the spokesman of the Philippine Coast Guard said Monday. Commander Armand Balilo, also chief of the PCG Public Affairs Office, told the Inquirer on Monday that they were “coordinating with the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (in Taipei) for the repatriation of the rescued fishermen.” He identified the fishermen as Ronald Dumaran, Edwin Zoilo and Gener Mendoza, all residents of Sta. Ana, Cagayan. Citing a report from the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office in Makati City, Balilo said the fishermen “encountered a storm last July 15.” “On board a fishing boat, they drifted for five days until they were rescued by a Taiwanese Coast Guard vessel,” he said.  “They are in good condition and currently under the custody of the TCG in Kaohsiung.” However, “another Filipino fishing boat (with an undisclosed number of crew) is still missing,” said Balilo. In May, a Philippine fisheries patrol vessel manned by the PCG shot at a Taiwanese fishing boat near Balintang Channel in northern Philippines. The PCG had admitted that its personnel shot at the vessel in an incident that left Taiwanese fisherman Hung Shih-chen dead. The Coast Guard shrugged off an Inquirer report that the National Bureau of Investigation had recommended the filing Read More …

Jun 132013
De Lima confirms recommendation to file charges vs PCG

OVER SHOOTING OF TAIWANESE FISHING BOAT By Tetch 1:01 pm | Thursday, June 13th, 2013 Taiwanese fisherman Hung Shih-cheng’s boat, the Kuang Ta Hsing No. 28, is checked by Taiwanese officers after arriving at Liuqiu port in Pingtung County, southern Taiwan, Saturday, May 11, 2013. Taiwanese boat owner Steven Liao said the damage to the Guang Ta Hsin 28 costs around NT$8 million (P11 million). AP PHOTO MANILA, Philippines—Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has confirmed a recommendation to press charges against some members of the Philippine Coast Guard involved in the shooting incident off Batanes that killed a Taiwanese fisherman. “I confirm that the NBI has recommended the filing of charges against the PCG personnel involved in the incident,” Justice Secretary Leila De Lima said in a text message to The Justice chief is currently in Madrid, Spain to attend the 5th World Congress Against Death Penalty. De Lima said criminal and administrative case will be filed against PCG personnel. No Taiwan pressure She, however, clarified that the findings of the Philippine government was not influenced nor a product of pressure from Taiwan. “There was no influence from Taiwan side. [But] hopefully, the conclusions from both side would jibe or are not that different,” De Lima further said. De Lima, however, declined to give details on what charges will be filed pending clearance from President Benigno Aquino III who already was furnished a copy of the NBI’s findings. Objective evaluation of evidence “It is for his consideration and Read More …

Jun 022013
PCG: Video doesn’t show coast guards laughing

By Jerry E. EsplanadaPhilippine Daily Inquirer 12:45 am | Monday, June 3rd, 2013 “Laughing” and “smiling” are completely different, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said Sunday as it rejected the Inquirer’s report that six coast guards were seen in a video laughing as they fired at a Taiwanese fishing boat. The Coast Guard took the video of the encounter between the coastal patrol vessel MCS-3001 and the Taiwanese fishing boat Guan Ta Hsin 28 in waters off Balintang Island in northern Philippines on May 9. The video was submitted to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for the investigation of the fatal shooting of Taiwanese fisherman Hung Shih-chen, 65, during the chase. Cmdr. Armand Balilo, spokesperson for the Coast Guard, said Sunday he had seen the video and dismissed the Inquirer report as “inaccurate” and “hearsay.” Malacañang and the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (Meco), the Philippines’ de facto embassy in Taiwan, declined to comment on the Inquirer report. The Palace, however, gave assurance that the outcome of the government investigation will be solely based on evidence. The report was based on an interview by reporter Nancy C. Carvajal with a source who had seen the video and whose statements were confirmed by two other sources. “The video showed the soldiers acted unprofessionally. They were laughing while they were shooting the boat,” the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said. “It is disturbing and embarrassing for Philippine law enforcers,” the source said. Balilo said there was no footage from Read More …