Liberian tanker held in Philippines after ramming navy ship
ZAMBOANGA CITY – A Liberian tanker which collided with the BRP Tarlac, the Philippine Navy’s newest ship, off the southern Filipino port city of Zamboanga, is being held by authorities to determine the cause of the accident.
Colonel Edgard Arevalo, a military spokesman, said the collision occurred last week evening near the naval headquarters where the ship – a landing platform dock – was anchored.
He said M/T Tosca, manned by a Filipino captain Dominador Tanguas Jr. and a crew of 21 Filipinos and an Ukranian sailor, was heading to the Port of Bintulu in Sarawak, Malaysia when it hit the right side of the naval ship.
No one was reported injured in the collision, but it left several dents on the BRP Tarlac, according to Arevalo, who said that there is an ongoing investigation into the mishap.
“Investigation by the Philippine Coast Guard Station is ongoing to determine the circumstances of the collision,” he said.
It was not immediately known whether the naval crew detected the tanker approaching dangerously close to the ship, but the accident only shows that BRP Tarlac – which is being used by the military as a command center for operations against the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu province – could be vulnerable to terror attack at sea.
There was no immediate statement from the captain of the Liberian tanker.
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A photo released by the Philippine Navy shows the damaged side of BRP Tarlac. (Mindanao Examiner)