20 MV Vienna Wood crewmen held in PH

Rambo Talabong
Seven of them are facing criminal charges

The 20 crew members of the MV Vienna Wood, the Hong Kong-flagged carrier which sank Filipino fishing boat FV Liberty 5, were ordered to stay in the Philippines as 7 of them faced criminal charges.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) made the announcement on Wednesday, July 15, saying that the order was issued by Regional Trial Court Branch 44 in Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro.

Who are facing complaints? The ship’s captain, Zhang Wei Wei, and 6 other officers were facing charges of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and damage to property.

The PCG said they only asked the court to hold the 7 in the Philippines.

It was the Filipino fishing boat’s company, Irma Fishing and Trading Incorporated, which asked the court to prevent the departure of the whole crew.

Why does this matter? The hold departure order is a measure to prevent the crew members from leaving the country and evade criminal charges.

According to PCG, the MV Vienna Wood lingered near the sinking FV Liberty 5 after the collision, but failed to rescue them despite having the capability to do so. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.