A STILL active mortar round got entangled with the right side anchor of a passenger ship preparing to dock at the Port of Batangas on Saturday night but was safely removed for “disposal,” the Philippine Coast Guard reported yesterday.
The PCG said the 155 mm projectile was “accidentally caught” by the starboard (right side) anchor of the MV St. Ignatius of Loyola, owned by the 2GO Group at around 7:55 p.m.
Commo. Armando Balilo, PCG spokesman, said the ship, en route to Caticlan Port in Aklan, was about to dock at Ramp No. 5 of the Batangas port when it caught the projectile.
Citing a report from Batangas port commander Capt. Geronimo Tuvilla, Balilo said members of the PCG’s K-9 Force Explosive and Ordnance Explosive Disposal and Special Operations Force responded to the scene and confirmed it was a 155 mm projectile that he said “can still explode.”
“We have yet to establish its exact source,” Balilo said.
He said PCG bomb experts successfully moved the mortar projectile to a Philippine Ports
Authority facility, preparatory for its “disposal.” The ship later proceeded with its voyage.
In a statement, the PCG said: “After cautiously examining the ordnance, the team conducted the removal operation that lasted for an hour. It was safely placed in a box with moist sand.”