Seafarer group to file raps vs Marina head

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The United Filipino Seafarers (UFS) is set to file a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman today against the administrator of the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) and its former officials and board members for their allegedly dubious approval of a memorandum circular.

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The UFS said the circular violates provisions of an executive order issued by then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that encourages investments in newly constructed ships or brand-new vessels in the domestic shipping industry by providing incentives to their owners.

In a 12-page complaint affidavit with annexes given to The Manila Times ahead of the filing, UFS president Nelson Ramirez accused Marina Administrator Marcial Amaro; former Marina Administrator Dr. Maximo Mejia Jr.; Gloria Bañas, former Marina deputy administrator for operations; and former Marina Board Members Benel Lagua, Jonathan Tariman, Hector Miole, Rommel Antonio Cuenca, Emma Panopio, Dario Alampay and Roberto Umali of grave misconduct, grave abuse of authority and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and violation of Section 3e of the Republic Act 3019 or Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, for their questionable approval of Marina Circular (MC) 2015-04, or the Rules and Regulations To Implement Executive Order (EO) 909 issued by Arroyo.

EO 909 is premised on the Investment Priorities Plan of the Government for 2009, which identified the water transport sector as a preferred area of investment and an efficient and modernized water transport industry as key to growth of the national economy on a sustained basis.

Ramirez said the respondents granted MC 2015-04 to three applicant domestic ship owners on September 7, 2015 or during the 236th regular meeting of Marina Board.

“The awards were issued either by respondent Mejia or Amaro and initiated by respondent Bañas,” he added.

Ramirez, in his complaint, prayed that the respondents must be preventively suspended or dismissed from government service after due notice and hearing.

JING VILLAMENTE

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