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Hold departure order issued vs ship crew in Mindoro sea mishap

HDO issued vs ship crew in Mindoro sea mishap
Robertzon Ramirez - July 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — A local court has issued a hold departure order (HDO) against officials of the Hong Kong-flagged cargo vessel MV Vienna Wood that collided with Filipino fishing boat Liberty 5 in the waters off Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro on June 27.

Judge Ulysses Delgado of the Occidental Mindoro Regional Trial Court Branch 44 issued the HDO against ship captain Zhang Weiwei; deck officers Yang Xifeng, Yi Lei, Shi Bin, Fan Qoujin, Xia Zhen and Wang Xingtu, and 13 other crewmembers of the cargo ship.

“We now have the legal basis to hold them and eventually hold them accountable for what happened,” Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) spokesman Cmdr. Armand Balilo said.

The PCG filed charges of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and damage to property to the seven ship crewmembers.

Balilo said the PCG sought the HDO only against the seven crewmembers, but the owner of the Filipino boat filed a separate motion seeking to stop all the 20 from leaving the country pending an investigation into the collision.

Twelve fishermen and two passengers of Liberty 5 went missing following the collision.

The PCG terminated its search and rescue efforts on July 3.

PCG Commandant Vice Admiral George Ursabia Jr. said they shifted operations to search and retrieval as they presumed that none of the missing survived the tragedy.