The truth about the Subic waste brouhaha
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2012-11-18

A losing bidder and a motley group of Subic-based cooperating media combined in the last few weeks to make a lethal cocktail of bovine ordure. Bovine ordure, of course, is my preferred term for bull sh**.

The Subic-based group had created confusion and chaos, threatened Philippine-US relations, scared tourists away and gave leftists, anti-Americans, mainstream media a news feeding frenzy. In case nobody noticed, among those that this Subic-based group had committed was to destabilize our national security and sabotage our economy. These manipulations should be exposed and everyone involved in creating this mess should be held accountable.

The public and our well-meaning public officials should know that not all that are in the news are truthful. Sadly, some members of media have prostituted their pens to vested interests. These media prostitutes will release news reports that pander to their patron’s interest and does not serve the public’s right to know the truth.

The cast of characters in this unbelievable demolition campaign intended to destroy the credibility of the Singapore subsidiary, Glenn Defense Marine Asia Philippines, is as follows:

1. The complainant: Rose B. Baldeo, vice president of Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce, also president of Global Terminals & Development Inc. (GTDI), who lost the bid to service US Navy ships to Glenn Defense Marine Asia Philippines. On her written urging in 2011, she asked the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to inspect Glenn Defense Marine on claims it was polluting Subic waters. Does this not suggest a bias for charging its competitor with polluting Subic waters?

2. The sample tester: Subic Water — responsible for treating water from SBMA. It doesn’t have the lifting station to separate toilet solid waste from liquid even as Subic big hotels like Legenda and Subic International do not have their own lifting facility. We should be informed as to how Subic Water disposes their waste.

3. The messengers of doom: Media men operating in Subic who broke the news, alleging that “toxic” waste and other alarming “findings” have been dumped on Subic waters. One reporter who works as media and community officer for SBMA was one of those who raised the alarming news on “toxic” waste.

By a stroke of divine design or luck, your Chair Wrecker obtained a document detailing a chronology of events on how this toxic plot unraveled. This same document was discussed during a meeting of Subic officials held in Gateway Mall in Cubao, Quezon City, which resulted in a public statement that the waste that was dumped was not “toxic” but “organic.”

Here’s how this naughty scheme played out:

1. On Oct. 15, around noon, Jay Mendoza, operations manager of Global Terminals and Development Inc., (the losing bidder) made a hazard call to the Subic Ecology Center (EC), which was referred to EC’s policy monitoring division’s Angel Bagaloyos.

2. 12:30 p.m.: Anthony Bayarong, identified in the document as a reporter, offered to fetch the EC staff. He also asked Jay Mendoza of GTDI to provide a boat to convey them to the vessel so that they can conduct an investigation. Joining them were EC personnel Alex Mesia and Jayverson Paje and Vic Vizcocho of the tabloid Remate. Remate was the first to break the news about “illegal dumping” on Oct. 17.

3. While in Alava Pier, awaiting the boat that will take them to the Naval Supply Depot (NSD), Jay Mendoza of GTDI briefed the team on the scenario: MT Glenn Guardian was supposedly dumping illegal waste from USS Emory Land and disposing waste water at sea. However, this claim was not validated because the test did not prove any disposal or spillage of wastewater.

4. 2 p.m.: Finding no oil or wastewater spillage, the following boarded MT Glenn Guardian: EC’s Paje and Mesia, media reporter Vizcocho and Bayarong. Capt. Acedilla of Glenn Guardian received them on board. It must be noted that this inspection is the job of the Coast Guard and not that of the EC. They found 50,000 gallons of treated wastewater in the tank of Guardian that were taken from USNS Emory Land.

5. Oct. 16 (9-12 noon) At the EC office, Patrick Escusa and Paje researched on possible policies involving alleged dumping of wastewater.

6. 2 p.m.: EC personnel visited the Coast Guard Station at Subic. EC inquired about regulations and standard procedures covering the incident. The task of boarding ships being that of the Coast Guard, the EC violated security protocol when they boarded without being accompanied by the Coast Guard.

7. 3 p.m.: Coast Guard Station Subic’s Deputy Commanding Officer instructed CG’s officers to conduct spot inspection on Glenn Guardian. EC’s Escusa and Paje with CG officers Cosme, Viuda and Casupang, with reporter Vizcocho boarded the vessel. EC used a dipper to scoop wastewater sample. This violated inspection protocol that requires the use of a hose to get intermediate, not surface sample.

8. Oct 17: Remate comes out with the news on illegal dumping.

9. At 1 p.m., on request of EC, Subic Water personnel arrived at EC to bring samples for analysis.

10. Oct 18: Philippine STAR comes out with a similar story on illegal dumping.

11. EC sends a show cause letter to Glenn Defense Marine Subic office.

And so began a whirlwind of developments that became so complicated that even the VFA issue was brought forward to provide the spark that enflamed anti-American and anti-VFA sentiments.

It’s only now that we’re finally hearing the side of Glenn Defense Marine Asia Philippines’ chairman and CEO Vice-Admiral (Ret.) Mateo Mayuga. Mayuga questioned the integrity of the samples and the procedure by which they were drawn. He also outlined the international protocol they’re mandated to follow that requires waste disposal only in the high seas.

As of this writing, SBMA and the Philippine Coast Guard had cleared Glenn Defense Marine but the echoes of anti-VFA and anti-Americanism continue to reverberate in the environment. This mess that’s triggered by pulp fiction should not be happening in a sane civilized society. Wild lies, intrigue and deception are materials for espionage movies, but not in a country whose good people are trying to bring their economy forward.

Our country has enough real problems to tackle already without having to be drawn into investigating fiction that only wastes bureaucratic time and energy.

* * *

Shakespeare: “Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.”

  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

Suggested guidelines for liability- free Internet posts

Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

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