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Call For Criminal Charges Against GenSan Boat Operators Philippines, December 18, 12


Justice Secretary Leila de Lima
The Philippine Justice Secretary Leila de Lima was asked to file criminal and other appropriate charges against tuna fishing boat owners for allegedly compelling fishworkers to sail despite advisories to temporarily shelve fishing operations days before typhoon “Pablo” hit Mindanao. The petition came from the fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Tuesday, according to the Inquirer.
Records from the Philippine Coast Guard showed that 315 fishermen from General Santos have gone missing. The area has been battered by “Pablo.”

Pamalakaya, in a statement, said owners and operators of RAFI Incorporated, RLG Fishing, DSG Fishing, LPS Fishing and Salazar Fishing, all based in General Santos City has allegedly dispatched more than 300 fishworkers and crew on board 46 tuna fishing boats at the height of the typhoon.

“In the name of social justice, we ask the office of Secretary de Lima to do its job and that is to send the greedy owners of tuna fishing boats to the court of justice and behind bars,” Pamalakaya national chairperson Fernando Hicap said.

He said the DOJ should also compel the tuna fishing boat owners to properly compensate the grieving families of missing fishermen. He added that the tuna companies ignored the government’s advisory.

The missing fishing fleets were reportedly located around 115 nautical miles off the Davao Oriental seaboard when the storm warning came, he said. Meanwhile, the Philippine Navy and several fishing companies are conducting search and rescue operations for the missing fishing boats and their crewmembers.

The PCG said two of the patrol boats of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), MCS-3005 and MCS-3009, departed from Mati port last Sunday night for search and rescue operations. The BFAR boats are now located 11.2 nautical miles Southeast of Balut Island in Sarangani province.

The PCG said another search and rescue vessel, ARV-3504, left Mati port Monday night and is expected to scour the sea area up to the Indonesian border for two days.