15 September 2015

Hijacked tanker set for shipbreaking:

THE hijacked Indonesian tanker that has been left on the coastline in Barangay Cabuaya, Mati City, Davao Oriental since February this year is set for shipbreaking, according to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Southern Mindanao.

Coast Guard commander for Southern Mindanao Commodore Joselito F. dela Cruz, in an interview, said his office has coordinated with the Harbor Star Shipping Services, Inc. (which is located in Lanang, Davao City) to undertake the operation.

The MT Rehobot ship owner Well Titah and its insurer PT Asuransi Umum Bumiputera Muda (Bumida) have failed to retrieve the vessel, according to dela Cruz.

"Pinasa na namin yung bola sa salvage company. The Harbor Star, however, has also requirements before taking the operation. Naghihintay na lang sila ngayon ng go signal or certificate of abandonment from the owner," dela Cruz said.

"Ang mangyayari kasi kung sakali pumayag na yung owner or magbigay na sila ng certificate of abandonment, the Harbor will look for a buyer, ibi-bid yan before it will be broken. There are actually procedures on that," he added.

He said they have coordinated with Indonesian Consul General Eko Hartono on the matter, but the latter has yet to send his response.

The MT Rehobot, an Indonesian tanker, was hijacked off Lembeh Island, North Sulawesi, last January 28, and was abandoned in Cabuaya last February 19.

Dela Cruz said the tanker was carrying 1,100 metric tons of diesel fuel before this was hijacked. The PCG believes that the pirates transferred the fuel to another vessel before the MT Rehobot was abandoned in Mati.

What was left in Cabuaya coastline, dela Cruz said, is the main body of the tanker. He added that the tanker had been looted by some residents nearby.

"Though the vessel is free from oil spill, I will have to talk again with the Indonesian consul and the Harbor Star for the scrapping of the vessel," dela Cruz said.

Source: sun star. 15 September 2015

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