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U.S ship runs aground in Philippines, damages coral reef

By staff |
January 19, 2013
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The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) condemned the US military for its incursion into the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park in the Sulu Sea causing damage to the corals after the marooning of its naval warship within the wildlife protected area.

Reports on Jan. 17 indicate that the USS Guardian, a U.S. navy minesweeper, ran aground within the Tubbataha Reefs, a marine park designated in 1993 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. U.S. naval personnel barred Park rangers from approaching the grounded ship which entered the heritage park without prior authorization.

“The damaging of the Tubbataha reefs underscores the demand of the Filipino people for the immediate abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA),” said the CPP. “They demand an end to the permanent presence of US troops, the involvement of US advisers in the domestic armed conflict, the participation of American soldiers in local combat operations, the persistent entry and rotational docking of U.S. naval warships and flying of U.S. jet fighters and unmanned drones in Philippine sovereign airspace.”