Apa Ongpin lashes at SBMA for denying port access to ships
A nephew of bilyonaryo Bobby Ongpin went on social media to torch Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) for its ill-thought move to drive away ships from its ports at the height of Super Typhoon Ompong’s fury.
Apa Ongpin, editor in chief of Asian Dragon, posted on Facebook what he called as “grossly irresponsible behavior” to vacate Subic Bay before Ompong made landfall and to refuse any ship seeking shelter during the storm.
“Subic Bay is a well protected bay, surrounded by mountains on most sides, and with a small entrance. It is the only truly protected bay from that point to the North of the country, and yet, SBMA has said it will deny safe haven to all ships,” said Ongpin.
In a memorandum issued on September 12, SBMA General Manager Jerome Martinez ordered all vessels in the Subic Port to vacate and relocate as part of the contingency plan for Ompong which was expected to slam the Bataan-Olongapo-Zambales area.
Not only did Martinez ban all vessel movements, he also refused entry to all incoming vessels.
But Ongpin said this was “contrary” to the UN Convention on the Law Of the Sea (UNCLOS) guarantees the right of innocent passage including those “rendered necessary by force majeure or distress or for the purpose of rendering assistance to persons, ships or aircraft in danger or distress.”