Palace taps Coast Guard to implement state of nat'l emergency
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is tapping the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to help implement the guidelines of the state of national emergency he declared in early September.
Memorandum Order No 4, released to media on Friday, September 30, lists instructions to the Coast Guard which are to be followed until the state of national emergency is lifted.
Signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, the memorandum order commands the PCG to "intensify its activities related to the enforcement and maintenance of maritime safety and security to prevent or suppress lawless violence at sea."
Specifically, the PCG is ordered to:
- Inspect all merchant ships and vessels to ensure compliance with safety standards, rules, and regulations
- Conduct surveillance and inspection of persons, vessels, and watercrafts navigating within the maritime jurisdiction of the Philippines, and suspected of committing or conspiring to commit an offense in the Philippines
- Control flow of traffic of vessels within the maritime jurisdiction of the Philippines
- Marshal passenger-laden vessels nationwide
- Maintain a unified numbering system for all Philippine-registered vessels, watercrafts, and water conveyances that are not covered by the International Maritime Organization numbering system
The order designates the Department of Justice as the agency that will coordinate with the PCG and other law enforcement agencies for the investigation and prosecution of all individuals and groups "apprehended for committing, or conspiring to commit, acts of lawless violence."
All national government agencies and local government units are instructed to assist the PCG in implementing the memorandum order.
The Department of Transportation was tasked to supervise the PCG in its compliance with the order.
Duterte declared a state of national emergency on account of lawless violence in Mindanao after the deadly Davao City bombing last September 2.
Memorandum Order No 3, the first order on implementing guidelines of the proclamation, ordered the military and police to deploy personnel in public places.
It also listed limitations of the military and police, with respect to constitutional rights to privacy of citizens.
Below is the text of Memorandum Order No. 4:
Office of the President
Of the Philippines
MEMORANDUM ORDER NO. 04
EXPANDING THE APPLICATION OF MEMORANDUM ORDER NO. 3 (s.2016) TO THE PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD AND PROVIDING ADDITIONAL GUIDELINES IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF MEASURES TO SUPPRESS AND PREVENT LAWLESS VIOLENCE
WHEREAS, on 05 September 2016, the Executive Secretary, by the authority and order of the President, and pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 55 (s.2016), promulgated Memorandum Order No. 03 providing guidelines for the AFP and the PNP in the implementation of measures to suppress and prevent any and all forms of lawless violence in Mindanao and prevent the spread and escalation thereof elsewhere in the country;
WHEREAS, there is a need for a comprehensive implementation of the President’s directive to prevent further loss of innocent lives and destruction of property in the entire Philippine territory including the country’s maritime jurisdiction, with due respect for and protection of the fundamental civil and political rights of our citizens;
WHEREAS, Republic Act (RA) No. 9993, otherwise known as the Philippine Coastguard Law of 2009, and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) established the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) as an armed and uniformed service attached to the Department of Transportation (DoTr) and tasked, among others, to assist in the enforcement of laws on firearms and explosives, controlled chemicals, transnational crimes, and other laws within the maritime jurisdiction of the Philippines; and
WHEREAS, Section 27, Chapter 9, Title Ill, Book Ill of Executive Order No. 292, otherwise known as the “Administrative Code of 1987,” empowers the Executive Secretary to implement presidential directives, orders and decisions;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, SALVADOR C. MEDIALDEA, by the authority and order of the President, do hereby promulgate the following additional directives and guidelines to be observed during the subsistence of a state of national emergency on account of lawless violence in Mindanao:
SECTION 1. Consistent with its mandate and powers under RA No. 9993 and its IRR, the PCG shall be subject to the same directives addressed to the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police under Sections 1, 2, 5, and 6 of Memorandum Order No. 03 (s.2016), and is hereby ordered to comply strictly therewith.
Additional PCG units and personnel to increase visibility and security shall immediately be deployed in all Philippine ports, harbors, and major coastal areas.
SECTION 2. With due regard to the constitutional rights of every individual, the PCG shall intensify its activities related to the enforcement and maintenance of maritime safety and security to prevent or suppress lawless violence at sea including, among others, the:
(i) inspection of all merchant ships and vessels to ensure compliance with safety standards, rules and regulations;
(ii) surveillance and inspection of persons, vessels and watercrafts navigating within the maritime jurisdiction of the Philippines, and suspected of committing, or conspiring to commit, an offense in the Philippines;
(iii) control and flow of traffic of vessels within the maritime jurisdiction of the Philippines;
(iv) marshaling of passenger-laden vessels nationwide; and
(v) maintenance, in coordination with the Maritime Industry Authority, of a unified numbering system for all Philippine-registered vessels, watercrafts and water conveyances that are not covered by the International Maritime Organization numbering system.
SECTION 3. The PCG shall strictly enforce maritime security communications protocol to enhance detection of any threat to maritime safety and security.
SECTION 4. The Department of Justice shall closely coordinate with the PCG and other law-enforcement agencies for the prompt investigation and prosecution of all individuals or groups apprehended for committing, or conspiring to commit, acts of lawless violence.
SECTION 5. All government agencies and local government units are directed to assist the PCG to ensure the effective implementation of this Memorandum Order, consistent with their respective mandates and functions.
SECTION 6. The DoTr is hereby directed to supervise and coordinate the PCG’s compliance with the foregoing directives.
SECTION 7. This Memorandum Order shall take effect immediately.
26 September 2016.
By Order of the President:
(Sgd.) SALVADOR C. MEDIALDEA