A US Navy minesweeper ran aground in Tubbataha reef, a heritage preserve of birds that flew out of harm's way, of fish that swam to safety and of 10 meters of coral that were destroyed before coral thieves could steal them for Chinese jewelry.
The US Navy is trying to pull out the grounded ship. The Philippine government says do it now, as though the Americans want to leave it behind. What, so it can be cannibalized by Filipinos like the iron railings on the overpass? From the way some people are raging, you'd think Americans enjoy running their warships aground to destroy patches of coral at the risk of the safety of navy personnel, not to mention a couple of hundred million dollars of naval weaponry. The US will pay the fine, though it shouldn't. It wasn't cruising around for fun, it was on maneuvers to protect our sovereignty and the freedom of the seas.
True the US warship refused to let environmentalists board the vessel, but we doubt that the ship beat to quarters and cleared the deck for action. Nobody but nobody on the planet earth is allowed on board a US warship except its officers and crew. Next thing, Somali pirates will be complaining of damage to coral from foreign warships hunting them down. When our constitution banned nuclear weapons, the US announced it would neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons crossing Philippines waters. We correctly accepted it. For the US to deny it has nuclear weapons in our waters is to weaken the deterrence of our American alliance against our common enemies.
Kiko Pangilinan is enraged. He said, first it was a drone and now it is a minesweeper. What next? A nuclear-tipped missile that lost its way and hit the Philippine Senate? We should be so lucky.
For chrissakes it was a friggin' accident. It was no more a violation of our sovereignty than a floating American drone or American turd dropped in Subic Bay. The incident should have been treated with circumspection instead of rage.
By the way, the US Navy may have been using Filipino naval charts navigating around Tubbataha. The US Navy should return to Tubbataha and get correct soundings in case it needs to chase a Chinese submarine in the vicinity. Or else the US can use Chinese charts that may be more accurate, even if they probably describe Tubbataha as a Chinese leaf.