PCG moves to keep HK ship crew from fleeing case on collision with PH fishing boat
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said it has filed a motion in court to keep the crew of Hong Kong-flagged carrier MV Vienna Wood from leaving Philippine territory while they faced investigation for a collision with a Philippine fishing boat.
PCG Commandant Vice Admiral George Ursabia on Wednesday (July 8) told families of 14 Filipinos aboard the fishing boat, who are still missing after the collision, that the PCG had already filed the motion to prevent the ship crew from returning to China.
The Filipino fishermen went missing after Vienna Wood collided with their boat off the coast of Mamburao town in Occidental Mindoro last June 27.
The full-scale search and retrieval operations ended on Tuesday (July 7).
Patrol search, however, continued along the coastlines.
“As of now, we haven’t found anybody, but we cannot declare them dead,” said Ursabia in Filipino. “There is still a possibility that they’re alive. We all believe in God. It is too early to say they’re dead. That’s why for us they’re still missing,” said the PCG chief.
On Monday (July 6), the PCG filed reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and damage to property against the shipping company, master and officers.
“Do not worry, the PCG is here to push through with this case,” he told the families of the missing fishermen.
He said the PCG would provide updates on the patrol operations to the families and the case against the ship crew.
“No matter how long this takes, we will not abandon this,” he said.
Ursabia said he would also help the families should they want to file a civil case against the crew of Vienna Wood.
“You can use the criminal case we filed for your own case,” he told the families.
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