• ‘Ghost ship’ sows fear in Bulacan coastal village

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    MALOLOS: AS heavy rains and high tide swell the waters of Manila Bay, the abandoned Chinese ship MV Huan Yeng continued to spook residents and fisherfolk of the coastal village of Pamarawan here.

    Anchored some 400 meters away from residential houses, the imposing presence of the cargo ship still gives anxiety to villagers who fear that the ship might smash through their village.

    The villagers woke up last Monday morning with a big ship floating on their shoreline.

    “It suddenly appeared here and there are fish pens already damaged,” JR Vicente, a resident of the village said.

    “We are afraid that the ship might drift near the village and smash our houses. There are more fish pens, fishing boats and houses might be destroyed especially if another typhoon hits us and the ship is still here,” he added.

    A situation report received by Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado from Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Joel Orduna said the ship MV Huan Yeng is a Cambodian registered ship that was anchored for repairs at the Lucanin anchorage in Bataan.

    The governor was also informed that the cargo ship have been docked in Lucanin for four years and was abandoned after its owner failed to pay necessary dues.

    During the onslaught of typhoon ‘Labuyo,’ the ship was reportedly dragged by strong winds into Manila Bay and drifted to the coastal village of Pamarawan.

    Orduna also reported to the governor that ship belongs to the S. American Far Eastern Shipping Company Ltd.

    Earlier, the Philippine Coast Guard told city mayor Christian Natividad that they can tow the abandoned cargo ship.

    But the mayor did not allow it because he wanted the owners to claim it and pay the damages wrought to the coastal village.

    On Thursday, the mayor issued an ultimatum to the owner of MV Huan Yeng.

    He said that they will file a civil suit against the shipping firm that owns the old cargo ship because it has already caused damages to the fish pens and fish cages in the area aside from posing danger to some 2,000 villagers.

    The mayor said he also wants to know the real score why the ship reached the coastal area of Malolos.

    “There’s something fishy here. It appears that the ship did not just run aground and was dragged by strong winds and waves during the typhoon. Our team has discovered that the ship dropped anchor and we are also verifying earlier accounts of local fishermen that there were heavily armed men on board and that the ship was well lighted when it smashed through the fish pens,” Natividad said.

    “We do not know. It might have done something illegal or dumped any hazardous wastes,” he added.

    The ship was already abandoned when a team from the Malolos City police boarded it.

    The young mayor said they will publish a public notice in a national newspaper and after a week or so will declare it as “public nuisance” and will make a public auction for its sale.

    “We want to know why it got there and what are they doing. The ship has already destroyed several fish pens, brought anxiety and fear to some 2,000 fisher folk in the village. We will give them (owners) ample time and if they failed to show up, we have no recourse but to auction it. It just cannot stay there and threaten our people,” Natividad said.

    PNA

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