Philippines says it will press US to pay for reef damages

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US to pay for reef damages: Philippines
Manila, Sep 17: The Philippines government vowed Wednesday to continue seeking compensation from the United States for the damage caused by its navy ship to parts of a protected marine reserve.

"We will continue our ongoing discussions with the US government on the matter of securing full compensation for the damage caused to the Tubbataha reef, and will be guided by the Supreme Court decision and the advice of the Office of the Solicitor General," Xinhua quoted the Philippines foreign affairs department (DFA) as saying in a statement.

The Philippines Supreme Court Tuesday junked a petition by environmental groups for a 'writ of kalikasan' (nature) against the minesweeper USS Guardian that ran aground in the Tubbataha reef in January 2013.

The department said it will also continue to work with other government agencies to enhance navigational safety in the protected marine sanctuary and preserve the reef and its marine environment.

The Supreme Court ruled that it has no jurisdiction over the petition filed by several groups calling on the court for the issuance of a 'writ of kalikasan' for possible criminal, civil and administrative prosecution of American Navy officials responsible for the grounding incident.

IANS

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