Leaking Petron pipeline caused oil spill—Coast Guard

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An oil spill caused the spread of a large reddish stain over Manila Bay, posing potential health and environmental hazards, authorities say. AFP/Philippine Coast Guard

MANILA, Philippines—A leaking submerged pipeline of Petron Corp. caused an oil spill that turned Manila Bay into red and prompted a state of calamity declaration in Cavite town, officials said Friday.

“Our personnel at lunch time discovered a leak continuously flowing out of the submerged pipeline of Petron,” Commodore Joel Garcia, commander of Coast Guard Marine Environmental Command, said in a statement.

Coast Guard spokesman Lieutenant Commander Armand Balilo earlier said that samples taken from areas hit by the oil spill that stretches 300 square kilometers matched that of the diesel being used by M/T Makisig, a tanker that had earlier unloaded fuel at a Petron terminal in Rosario town in Cavite province.

Related story: Oil spill samples match tanker’s fuel, says PCG

Based on laboratory results, samples from the pipeline and the ship’s fuel tank were identical from the samples taken from the shoreline, he said.

Garcia said the tanker’s owner, Herma Shipping and Transport Corp., and the staff of Petron in Rosario, Cavite would be charged for barring the PCG from taking oil samples from M/T Makisig’s fuel tank and the oil company’s pipeline.

“Last night, without any valid reason, our personnel were not allowed by either Petron or Herma Shipping from taking oil and water samples from their tank and pipeline despite telling them that they are in violation of P.D. 1829 if they continue to suppress us from taking samples,” he said.

The PCG was only allowed to take water samples at dawn Friday, Garcia said.

Garcia said that aside from obstruction of justice, the PCG might also file charges for violation of Republic Act 9274 (Clean Water Act) and Presidential Decree 979 (Marine Pollution Law of the Philippines).

More than 500,000 liters of diesel fuel spilled, affecting four coastal towns in Cavite—Rosario, Naic, Tanza and Ternate.

PCG spokesman Commander Armand Balilo told INQUIRER.net that the oil spill was contained at around 3 p.m. Friday.

The municipal council of Rosario placed the town under a state of calamity Friday due to the maritime disaster.

Related story: Cavite town in state of calamity as oil spill damages corals, threatens more towns

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