By Francis Wakefield
The commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Southern Luzon Command (AFP-SoLCom) Tuesday said that the ship sighted over the weekend in the municipal water of Lobo, Batangas will be used for the dredging and desilting of Lobo River and nearby estuaries.
In a statement, Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay, said as per coordination with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Batangas and based on the report of their Littoral Monitoring Station in Mindoro, the ship sighted off the coast of Lobo, Batangas is M/V Emerald, a Sierra Leone – Registered vessel manned by Indonesian and Chinese nationals.
“It will be used for the Dredging and Desilting of Lobo River and nearby estuaries covered by an approved contract between Lobo LGU and Seagate Engineering and Buildsystems, a Filipino Company,” Gapay said.
Gapay said pertinent documents were already submitted to the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) Central Office and the National Security Adviser for issuance of “Special permit for utilization”.
“Its (ship’s) presence in the area is cleared with the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA),” Gapay said.
“The Coast Guard Station in the area is closely monitoring the vessel,” he added.
Police earlier said that the vessel has nine crew members all Chinese Nationals identified as Li Yongping, Captain; Wang Lei, Chief Officer; Zhao Zhaoyin, 2nd officer; Du Zhengxu, Chief Engineer, Cheng Jiaxi, 2nd Engineer; Cai Yueliang, 3rd Engineer; Zhao Xiang, Oiler, Tang Shilin, Du Qincheng, Li Long,and Li Yongjun, all AB (Able Seaman) and Chen Niudi, cook, all with Passport, Visa and Seaman Book.