Efren Evangelista, commander of the Coast Guard’s Palawan District said: “The operation to remove the Guardian will start tomorrow, Monday. That’s part of the overall plan.”
The crane arrived in Puerto Princesa City on Saturday night where the Bureau of Customs (BOC) conducted the inspection. After BOC granted clearance, the ship progressed to Tubbataha, a Unesco-declared World Heritage Site.
The Guardian reportedly ran aground on the reef after resisting multiple notices not to enter the prohibited marine area. The US government has offered compensation but has failed to explain why its ship sailed on prohibited territory.
On the other hand, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has shown resistance against the compensation offer made by US Secretary of State John Kerry. According to CPP, Kerry’s offer was intended to placate the Philippine government and staff of the USS Guardian from any liability for damaging the World Heritage Site.
“No amount of ‘compensation’ for damage to the reefs is enough if this will mean swallowing our national dignity and setting aside our claims of sovereignty.”