US Navy Fined for 'Illegal Entry' at Philippine Coral Reef
January 21, 2013
The Philippine government has fined the US Navy for unlawfully entering and damaging a World-Heritage listed coral reef aboard the USS Guardian, even after receiving radio warnings by park rangers to avoid the reef.
Pealties of unauthorized entry to the Tubbataha Reef are severe, and include a maximum penalty of one-year imprisonment and a fine of 300,000 pesos (about $7,300). The Philippine government has decided to fine the US Navy, but will not be sending anyone to prison, according to information obtained by the Agence France-Presse.
Ever since the USS Guardian damaged the protected reef on Jan. 17, Philippines have expressed growing anger over the perceived carelessness of the US. A government-led board that manages the reef took several days to assess the destruction to its reef and resources and decide on the penalty.
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