Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Subic fines US ship for P.5m

What a load of crap!
A US navy ship taking part in joint exercises is being fined $10,000 for dumping human waste into Subic Bay, officials said yesterday.
The United States embassy, however, denied that any American ship had dumped human waste and said there appeared to be a “misunderstanding.”
Philippine officials said the guided missile destroyer USS Russel was caught discharging waste while anchored off Subic’s Alava pier last week, but its personnel allegedly accosted local officials photographing the activity.
Diskette seized
American sailors also confiscated a diskette from the digital camera used by Filipino officials without explanation, said Ametha de la Llana, who heads Subic’s ecology department.
“I penalized them $10,000 for discharging human waste into Subic Bay waters. I am still waiting for them to submit a written explanation or reaction to the notice of violation I sent them,” De la Llana told AFP.
“So far they are ignoring it,” she said, adding that her office might refer the case to its legal department. “They should remember this is no longer an American base. There is a Filipino authority here that supervises the port.”
Subic was an American naval base until it was shut down in 1992. It has been transformed into a free port and tourist attraction under the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, but US navy ships routinely visit the area for joint exercises with local counterparts.
American embassy spokesperson Ruth Urry said that during a routine transfer of sewage from the ship to a waste disposal truck last week, a leak was noticed and the pumping stopped.
A cleanup was carried out with the help of Subic authorities and “all procedures were followed during the transfer of sewage from the ship to the tanker.”
She said Subic officials had voluntarily given the photo diskettes to US navy personnel after realizing they had taken pictures of sensitive weapons systems.
Manila Standard, August 4, 2004


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