Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto is proposing the destruction of ships that deliberately and knowingly helped in transporting contraband from abroad like smuggled rice.
He said that ships that wittingly carry smuggled goods such as rice in large quantities should be seized and confiscated, and if allowed by law, “destroyed, sank, be made into artificial reefs.”
“Hindi naman isang container lang ng bigas ay automatic na gigibain na yung barko. Pero kung ang buong barko ay kinontrata para mag-smuggle ng bigas o langis, at kasabwat ang crew at may-ari, ganyang klaseng mga barko ang dapat hatulan ng kamatayan,” Recto said.
“Kung carrier in good faith, at pati sila naloko din, huwag dapat parusahan. But if the ship is in conspiracy with the shipper, and participates in its clandestine unloading, and navigates in a manner that eludes detection, then the ship is an active participant in a crime,” he explained.
Senator Recto said forfeiture of vessels are allowed under Philippine law under Section 1113 (a) of R.A. No. 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
The senator also noted that confiscated ships can be repurposed.
“Pwedeng gawing training ship. Pwedeng gawing carrier of relief goods to calamity areas. Pwedeng research ship sa Benham Rise,” Recto said.