It was not very long ago when the news that a ship belonging to the US Navy had run aground in the Philippines made headlines.
Recent information on this topic says that the USS Guardian must now be held responsible for sparking both major environmental concerns, and some protests.
Given the fact that this ship got stuck on top of some coral reefs presently listed as a World Heritage Site, it need not come as such a big surprise that the Philippine government now wishes the US Navy to assume responsibility for their actions and make amends by means of remuneration.
The Wall Street Journal
reports that, for the time being at least, the top priority is that the USS Guardian is safely recovered and that no further harm is done to the Tubbataha Reef National Park during salvage activities.
Thus, the ship is to have its fuel drained from its reservoirs prior to being moved. Both US and Philippine officials hope that this will prevent an accidental oil spill.
Just for the record, it looks like President Benigno Aquino is determined not to allow the US Navy salvage its ship without being supervised by Philippine officials, whose job will be that of making sure no further damage is caused to the environment.
Once the ship is successfully removed from this coral reef, marine researchers will step in and carry out an assessment of the environmental damages its running aground has caused.
It is to be expected that these assessments will help the Philippine government decide on how much money the US Navy must pay as compensation for its having threatened the natural balance of this World Heritage Site.
Meanwhile, a group of environmentalists saw fit to organize a rally in front of the US Embassy in Manila, their goal being to voice their complaints against this ship's running aground and negatively impacting on the Tubbataha Reef National Park.