Aquino slammed for silence over Tubbataha reef desecration

THE youth group Anakbayan expressed its outrage today over the continuing silence of President Noynoy Aquino regarding the grounding of the U.S warship Guardian on the protected coral reef of the Tubbataha Reef National Park.

Vencer Crisostomo, national chairperson of Anakbayan, noted that the only statement from Malacanang, that issued by Palace spokesperson Abi Valte yesterday, “conveniently skirts the issue of the U.S Navy’s arrogant behavior”.

“While claiming to be more concerned with the extent of the damage to the coral reef, the Palace omits any mention of how the U.S warship blatantly entered the protected area, ignored the Tubbataha Park officials contacting them, and then pointed their guns at the Park rangers sent to investigate the damage.”

He pointed out that only the officials of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) and the Tubbataha Management Office made any mention of the fact that the U.S.S Guardian did not have any permit to enter the Park area, that they repeatedly contacted the ship’s captain to no avail, and that the warship’s crew went on ‘full battle alert’ when they were approached by Park rangers.

“Are the PAWB and Tubbataha Park officials the only ones concerned about the impunity with which U.S troops violated an important part of our national patrimony? Why has Noynoy kept silent two days after the incident?” said the youth leader.

“Is Noynoy still waiting for the ‘official line’ from the White House and the U.S State Department so that he can echo it, word for word?” he added.

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