Glenn Defense Liable For Dumping

MANILA, Philippines --- The Senate committees on foreign relations and environment and natural resources said Glenn Defense Marine Asia should be made liable for dumping hazardous wastes in Subic Bay last October 2012 and recommended that the government file charges against Glenn Defense for its failure to comply with the country's environmental and marine protection laws and regulations.

Sen. Loren Legarda, chair of the foreign relations committee, which headed the Senate inquiry into the toxic wastes dumping incident, also debunked Glenn Defense's claims it is contracted by the US Navy to service its military ships and is covered by the US-Philippines Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

Related story: Stuck Minesweeper to Be Cut Into Pieces

Legarda, in her 134-paged committee report, said Glenn Defense is actually a Philippine-registered company providing husbanding and relations services to visiting US ships contrary to its earlier assertions. The company, she said, is not operating vessels for the United States Armed Forces and its employees are not part of the US personnel as defined in the VFA.

"Glenn Defense is not covered by the VFA...These were false claims made by Glenn Defense to escape coverage from Philippine laws and regulations. It operates under a service agreement with Glenn Defense Marine (Asia) Pte Ltd, a private corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of Singapore," said Legarda.

"Glenn Defense, therefore, can be likened to a sub-contractor that is liable for any omission or violation it may have committed in the course of providing contracted services to US Navy ships," she said.

Also read: Another US Warship Docks at Subic Pier

The committee report recommends that the government through the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, the Philippine Coast Guard and the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) to initiate administrative proceedings against Glenn Defense for its failure to comply with the country's environmental and marine protection laws and regulations and to impose the necessary penalties as warranted.

The company also failed to comply with the regulatory and permitting requirements of the government when it dumped around 200,000 liters of sewage waste in Philippine sea waters on Oct. 15, 2012.

Legarda said that in its report to the Senate, the PCG declared that "there is no record to show that subject vessel or the owner/operator of Glenn Defense Marine (Asia) Philippines Incorporated had forwarded any request for dumping or discharging of sewage waste" to the PCG.

Related story: U.S. military to increase presence in Philippines

"Glenn Defense, by practice, has been dumping sewage waste collected from US Navy ships into the seawaters over the years without permits from the government. A certification from Subic Water showed that from October 15 to November 19, 2012, more than 4 million liters of sewage were collected from just one US ship. Had it not been for the investigation, these wastes would have probably found its way again into our seawaters," Legarda said.

The committee report also found out that the sewage wastes dumped by Glenn Guardian on October 15, 2012 in sea waters were found to be in excess of permitted effluent standards in violation of DENR standards. The laboratory results also showed the presence of alarming levels of oil and grease, wastes considered hazardous under Republic Act. No. 6969.

Apart from this, Glenn Defense, she said, is not an accredited sewage waste collector or collector of other related harmful substance, violating a PCG memorandum Circular 03-2005. It did not also dump the sewage wastes in the duly-designated dumping areas identified under the PCG circular.

Also read: Trump Jr. wants U.S. ship saved before Tubbataha

The Senate, however, said it also questioned how Glenn Defense was able to secure from Maritime Industry Authority two exemption permits in 2011 even as marine regulations, effective at that time, required such permits as a pre-requisite for the temporary operation of foreign vessels in the country.

"This action on the part of MARINA deserves scrutiny considering that this action contravenes the very policies that RA 9295, the Domestic Shipping Development Act of 2004, sought to promote, including that of ensuring the continued viability of domestic shipping operations and the provision of necessary assistance and incentives for the continued growth of the Philippine domestic merchant marine fleet," the senator said.

"While conflicting interests are evident in the issues at hand, it is indisputable that Glenn Defense has violated Philippine laws," the report said.

Legarda also reiterated that the VFACOM (Presidential Commission on the VFA) mandate of 'ensuring respect for Philippine Laws, state policies, and strict compliance with the rules and regulations promulgated by the concerned departments and agencies under Executive Order No. 199 needs to be strongly enforced.

"This incident and the unfortunate grounding of a US minesweeper in Tubbataha Reef are two different incidents, grounded on the same issue - the need for better coordinative and implementing arrangements to ensure "respect for Philippine laws, state policies...and strict compliance with rules and regulations" by our treaty partner and all entities performing services outside of the VFA, but related to its implementation," she said.

"There is something terribly wrong, when a private commercial entity, instead of rectifying its omissions and violation of laws, claim that a Senate investigation results to waste of government time and resources. The findings in this report speak for itself. Our government agencies need to understand that in any Agreement or Treaty, national interest is first and second to none," Legarda said.

 Related slideshow: Tubbataha Reef damage

A Philippine coast guard wades towards the USS Guardian trapped on the Tubbataha coral reef, January 22, 2013 off the western island of Palawan after it ran aground on January 17
1 / 8
AFP News
Wed, Feb 27, 2013 12:57 PM PHT

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel
    Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel

    The $150,000 pearl-studded, custom-made Calvin Klein dress worn by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o at this year's Academy Awards has been stolen, police said on Thursday. The gown, embellished with 6,000 natural white pearls, was stolen from Nyong'o's room at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, during the day on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in West Hollywood said. "Ms Nyong'o was not in the room at the time of the theft," Deputy John Mitchell …

  • US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians
    US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians

    The US-led coalition has carried out air strikes against the Islamic State group in northeastern Syria, where the jihadists have launched a new offensive and kidnapped 220 Assyrian Christians. The raids on Thursday struck areas around the town of Tal Tamr in Hasakeh province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, without giving information on possible casualties. The town remains under the control of Kurdish forces, but at least 10 surrounding villages have been seized by IS, along …

  • Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts
    Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts

    BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State militants seized more Christians from their homes in northeastern Syria in the past three days, bringing the total number abducted by the extremist group to over 220, activists said Thursday. …

  • U.S. flies most advanced surveillance plane from Philippines

    By Manuel Mogato MANILA (Reuters) - The United States has begun flying its most advanced surveillance aircraft, the P-8A Poseidon, out of the Philippines for patrols over the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy said on Thursday, acknowledging the flights for the first time. The United States, the Philippines' oldest and closest ally, has promised to share "real time" information on what is happening in Philippine waters as China steps up its activities in the South China Sea. China claims most of …

  • Purisima denies endorsing successor
    Purisima denies endorsing successor

    Resigned Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Alan Purisima denied reports that he has been urging President Aquino to appoint his protegé as the new police chief. “Contrary to news reports, PDG Alan La Madrid Purisima is not in any position to recommend and has not in fact recommended anyone to the President for appointment as next chief of the PNP,” his lawyer Kristoffer James Purisima said yesterday. Sources said that Purisima may have resigned but he reportedly remains …

  • IS executioner 'Jihadi John' named as London graduate
    IS executioner 'Jihadi John' named as London graduate

    "Jihadi John", the masked Islamic State group militant believed responsible for beheading of at least five Western hostages, has been named as Kuwaiti-born computing graduate Mohammed Emwazi from London. "Jihadi John", nicknamed after Beatle John Lennon due to his British accent, is believed to be responsible for the murders of US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning and American aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig. …

  • Review: SKK Mobile V2, a P3,999 watered-down LG G2
    Review: SKK Mobile V2, a P3,999 watered-down LG G2

    How well does this P3,999 offering from an underdog in the local mobile industry stack up against the competition? Let's find out. …

  • China bans ivory imports for 1 year to protect elephants
    China bans ivory imports for 1 year to protect elephants

    BEIJING (AP) — China imposed a one-year ban on ivory imports that took immediate effect Thursday amid criticism that its citizens' huge appetite for ivory has fueled poaching that threatens the existence of African elephants. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options