USS Guardian is sinking in Tubbataha Reefs Natural Marine Park, one of the Philippines World Heritage Sites. The vessel ran aground Thursday.
The Philstar says all crew have been evacuated and are demanding the US remove the ship immediately. Fines for violation of the World Heritage Site are being determined. At one point, some Philippines authorites announced they were going to board the vessel, but were turned back by a show of force from the ship.
This is quickly becoming an international incident of mounting proportion.
AFP is reporting that Philippine troops have captured a senior Abu Sayyaf terrorist known as Tuatin Anahaly.
Anahaly was arrested in connection with the kidnapping of Martin Burnham, Gracia Burnham, Ediborah Yap, Guillermo Sobero, and a group of Filipinos from Dos Palmas resort in Palawan back in 2001. The Burnham’s were missionaries based in Manila.
Philippine troops later rescued Gracia Burnham and Ediborah Yap in a rescue operation in which Gracia’s husband, Martin, was killed. Guillermo Sobero was beheaded by the terrorists before the Abu Sayyaf terrorists could be located.
“I heard a loud explosion and thought at first it was thunder but realized it was too loud to be thunder,” Maza said. “When I looked out my window, I saw a vehicle on fire and near that vehicle was the car of Congresswoman Ilagan.”
The description given above looks like a suicide bomber may be involved, but it could have been a bomb in nearby parked car.
GMA News reports that House Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr said the explosion was a “Terror attack.”
The Inquirer quotes National Capital Region Police Director Gearry Barias as believing the explosion was the result of an IED.
The Inquirer now reports that Basilan Representative Wahab Akbar has died as a result of today’s bombing.
The Mindanao Examiner says Representative Wahab Akbar is a former Muslim rebel leader-turned-politician whose wife is the governor of Basilan.
Lance Corporal Daniel Smith was convicted today for the rape of a Filipina. Smith faces a 40 year prison sentence in a Filipino jail and financial restitution. Smith now sits in a Makati City jail. Believe me, a Filipino jail is nothing like our cushy American jails. IT IS PRISON.
Nicole had accused Smith of raping her at the Subic Bay freeport in November 2005.
Lance Corporals Keith Silkwood and Dominic Duplantis and Staff Sergeant Chad Carpentier were acquitted for lack of evidence.