Images of navy ships sunken in wake of Tropical Storm ‘Paeng’ cause social media alarm

Image: Office of the Press Secretary
Image: Office of the Press Secretary

Filipinos were alarmed after footage released by the Office of the Press Secretary showed three Philippine Navy ships submerged in its Cavite shipyard after the onslaught of Tropical Storm Paeng.

However, the Navy clarified in a statement that the half-submerged ships were already decommissioned vessels. The three ships, the former BRP Rajah Humabon, BRP Sultan Kudarat and BRP Cebu, were decommissioned in 2018 and 2019, and were stationed at the Navy’s Graveyard Dock in Cavite.

According to the Navy, the Graveyard Dock is where decommissioned vessels are temporarily berthed “until final disposal,” after which the ships would likely be sold for scrap.

Nonetheless, many on social media still felt the government could have done more to prevent the disgraceful image and ignoble end to the long-serving navy’s ships. 

“That is not the proper way to decommission a ship. Which has been in service and served and has been home to many sailors. Whether its condition is questionable. They should have bailed the water out to keep it afloat and decommission properly with honors,” one wrote.

“Poor Rajah Humabon,” another said, referring to the Navy’s old frigate. “The last ship of her class bravely served the Navy for 60+ years (aside from previous JMSDF and WW2 USN service) but didn’t survive due to the PN’s poor leadership and just left to die/rot and sank without her dignity spared. What a disgraceful end to its long, enduring career.”

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