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PCG files raps vs cargo ship operator

Pat C. Santos

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The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) filed criminal charges against a Hong Kong-based commercial vessel which collided with a Philippine fishing vessel off the coast of Occidental Mindoro wherein 14 of its crew are still missing.

Four respondents from MV Vienna Wood identified as Zhang Weiwei of Shandong, China; Shin Bin of Henan, China; Yi Lei of Jillen, China; and Yang Xileng of Shandong, China are facing charges for reckless imprudence resulting to multiple homicide and damages to property in the case filed by the PCG at the Occidental Mindoro Provincial Prosecutor’s Office.

Provincial Prosecutor Rowena Garcia-Villaflores confirmed that after complying with legal requirements, the PCG had ordered the filing of criminal charges against the shipping company, masters and officers of the vessel, which collided with the FV Liberty 5 in late evening of 27 June.

Commodore Armand Balilo, Coast Guard spokesman, said the case was filed at the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office to determine probable cause, with Occidental Mindoro Station Commander Lt. Valerie Lagua acting as the complainant.

MV Vienna Wood, which was coming from Subic, collided into FV Liberty 5 which was on its way to the Navotas fish port and caused its sinking. But despite seeing the sinking fishing boat, the MV Vienna Wood crew failed to send its men for rescue operations.

Search and retrieval operations by the PCG to locate the 14 missing crew members, who are mostly fishermen, are still ongoing.

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