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Expat's Fishing Boat Attacked by Philippine Officials


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The following is a story appearing in today's edition of the Gold Star Daily , Cagayan de Oro . Interestingly enough no one in CDO is able to access the story on -line so it was copied and pasted by someone in the US .

 

American prepares raps vs Ruthie, Kho

By JIGGER JERUSALEM - Correspondent Updated August 25, 2009 12:00 AM

 

 

AN American and his Filipino wife yesterday threatened to file charges against Gingoog officials and law enforcers for allegedly seizing their fishing boat illegally on the waters off eastern Misamis Oriental and damaging it over a week ago.

 

An 8:01-minute video recording of the alleged harassment was posted on Youtube. The complainants said there are more.

 

Facing charges are Gingoog Mayor Ruthie Guingona, Vice Mayor Marlon Kho, Navy and police personnel and a local fisheries officer.

 

Randy Stirm and his wife Cherry said their lawyer was preparing charges, possibly separate, against the officials in connection with alleged acts of harassment last Aug. 14.

 

Stirm claimed Navy personnel fired shots at the fishing boat FB Cherry, harassed its crew and then seized it without a warrant.

 

When the fishing boat was retrieved, equipment, including an expensive net, were nowhere to be found. It had bullet holes and the booms and rope work were cut, said Stirm.

 

The over P2-million boat was also badly damaged it would take at least P600 thousand to repair it, Stirm told The Gold Star Daily.

 

 

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cagayanstar

I guess the boat is fishing in the fish sanctuary area a project of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and this project is handed to the local officials of the Barangay. The barangay then organized a fisherfolk organization who will look after this fish sanctuary area. Even local residents are prohibited to fish around this area.

I suspected that Randy' s boat is fishing this area,they violated the rule. But even though their boat crossed the line they don't deserve what they experienced.It was harassment. But they have also to remember that the Guingona and Kho are one of the biggest names in the political field of the province.

 

Here is my story:

 

I worked as a secretary in the Local Government Unit in the Barangay Level for 7 years and there was one time that thieves were caught by the Barangay police. The thieves cut the electrical wirings of the street lights and this people were originally from Gingoog. The barangay office of course filed a case against this thieves. But after few days Marlon Kho showed up to negotiate the barangay officials. Maybe that time the local council whom I served that time realized that it will just cost money to pursue the case so instead they agreed that Councilor Marlon Kho will just pay the damages.So case was closed.

 

I hope Randy and Cherry is prepared for the case.

Good luck for them.

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smokey

many years ago I bought a 60 foot fishing shrimp boat in Louisiana and took it thru the panama canal and before we could get to Oregon two countries navy vessels boarded us as we were riding the coast the first one fined us 4,000 cash and the second as we had little money left charged us , 1,190 dollars 2 pair of Nike shoes , a fishing net, a DVD and TV and a radar and they also took about 1000 gallons of our fuel ... so we had to stop for fuel in a little Mexican town not far from La Paz were we asked if we could tie up to the Government dock as it was empty permission was granted and 2 days later when we went to leave we were told we owed 1,200 dollars for docking and 500 dollars for two guards so it was off to the bank and out comes the credit card.. then we made it to San Diego and were boarded by customs US who tore our boat apart looking for drugs and any other illegal things and then fined us for not having the proper life vest and other safety equipment which was taken by the first boarding after panama... so the boat cost me 65,000 dollars and the fines to make it home another 10,000 dollars all governments suck

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Wish them luck, Philippine politics is a dangerous affair, especially for an American.

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I guess the boat is fishing in the fish sanctuary area a project of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and this project is handed to the local officials of the Barangay. The barangay then organized a fisherfolk organization who will look after this fish sanctuary area. Even local residents are prohibited to fish around this area.

I suspected that Randy' s boat is fishing this area,they violated the rule. But even though their boat crossed the line they don't deserve what they experienced.It was harassment. But they have also to remember that the Guingona and Kho are one of the biggest names in the political field of the province.

 

Here is my story:

 

I worked as a secretary in the Local Government Unit in the Barangay Level for 7 years and there was one time that thieves were caught by the Barangay police. The thieves cut the electrical wirings of the street lights and this people were originally from Gingoog. The barangay office of course filed a case against this thieves. But after few days Marlon Kho showed up to negotiate the barangay officials. Maybe that time the local council whom I served that time realized that it will just cost money to pursue the case so instead they agreed that Councilor Marlon Kho will just pay the damages.So case was closed.

 

I hope Randy and Cherry is prepared for the case.

Good luck for them.

 

 

Here is a follow up story regarding the Fishing Boat incident . It would seem that some sort of negotiation effort might be under way as Cagayanstar related . Maybe it's just my connection but still can not access these stories on - line from Cagayan De Oro .

 

Gunmen stop Stirm, threaten to kill wife

By JIGGER JERUSALEM - Correspondent Updated August 26, 2009 12:00 AM

 

ARMED men yesterday threatened the American who spoke out against the alleged

abuses of government

people in Gingoog city.

 

The men, riding a black Honda XRM motorcycle, stopped Randy Stirm near the

Kimaya Bridge in Jasaan

town at around 7:55 am, showed a police blotter signed by PO3 Elesio Junsay and

Senior Insp.

Lorenzon Larot.

 

The American on Monday threatened to sue Gingoog Mayor Ruthie Guingona, Vice

Mayor Marlon Kho, local

fisheries officer Genevieve Cruz, and Navy and police personnel over the alleged

illegal seizure of

his over P2-million fishing boat on the waters off Gingoog. He alleged that his

wife and crew were

harassed over trump-up charges of illegal fishing, and that the fishing boat was

badly damaged.

 

Stirm, a resident of Luz Banzon, Jasaan town, said the armed men told him:

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shadow

One thing that comes to my mind is that this American has made multiple public

claims to "own" the fishing boat. Under the fisheries laws of the Philippines,

and the 1987 constitution, commercial fishing can only be entertained by

Philippines citizens;

 

Section XII, article 2 of the 1987 constitution states;

 

"The State shall protect the nation's marine wealth in its archipelagic waters,

territorial sea, and exclusive economic zone, and reserve its use and enjoyment

exclusively to Filipino citizens."

 

Under the fisheries laws, a foriegner can fish for sport reasons only, not

commercially. He can fish, but not sell fish. If in fact as he claims he "owns"

this boat, he is breaking the law and his equipment (boat) can be confiscated.

 

He can legally own a maximum of 40% of a corporation that owns a boat, but if he

is going public that "he owns it" he may find himself on the short end of the

stick.

 

At any rate, something is "fishy".

 

Food for thought.

 

Larry in Dumaguete

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If in fact as he claims he "owns"

this boat, he is breaking the law and his equipment (boat) can be confiscated.

 

First off, I don't know anything about anything. So take that into account.

 

However, I can go on national TV and claim I own the Mona Lisa, Satan, and the recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken and still not be legal owner of any of those things. I would hope there is a record of who really owns this boat, that it's legal, and that what he says in the video doesn't legally change the actual ownership status of the boat or business.

 

If that's true, I own Microsoft. Just wanted to get to the front of the line on that one.

 

Also for an American his English is atrocious.

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We don't have nearly enough information about what happened here to judge who's in the right or the wrong. From what I've heard, Randy Stirm was accused of illegally fishing in municipal waters. His response was that he has a proper fishing license. It doesn't seem as if he's actually addressing the specific complaint or complaints against him. What I don't know is whether the waters in question are completely barred from fishing as a breeding ground or something like that or whether they just require a special permit to fish there, whether his boat had just accidentally strayed into those waters once or whether he had fished there on several occasions, or whether there was a history of warnings or fines for his having fished there and if so, whether he'd continued to do so. He appears to be sidestepping this issue.

 

I also don't know whether, under Philippine fisheries regulations, a court order is required for search and seizure of a commercial vessel (IANAL). If the navy got involved and used deadly force, it sounds like someone may have told them that the boat was used in smuggling: otherwise, why would the navy fire on a fishing boat merely for fishing? It would seem that a fine and/or suspension of the license for illegal fishing would be more appropriate. Also, the crew did technically flee from justice by trying to run away from the navy gunboat, adding obstruction to the charges against them.

 

There are two sides to every story and all I've heard is Randy's side, thanks to videos of his boat that he made while standing on a pier and complaining that the officials aren't playing fair. In his videos I never heard any shots being fired nor any navy personnel ordering the crew into the water so they could sink the boat, and I never saw any damages to the boat: just a few distant shots of the boat, close-ups of some people on the pier, and Randy's complaining voice. So far we just have his word about what all took place.

 

He must have done something to piss people off. I wonder what it was? If the fishing co-op is trying to monopolize the local commercial fishery, I wonder why he didn't just join the co-op himself in the first place rather than trying to fish independently? If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. I suspect that Randy refused to join the co-op for reasons of his own, friction between him and other fishermen was generated, words were spoken adding fuel to the fire, and things started happening.

 

As an aside, they say he's an American but his accent sounds unlike any American one I've ever heard: perhaps Norwegian? Does anybody know if he's a naturalized American citizen and if so, where he's originally from? Just curious.

 

Edit: wh00ps, I did it again! Jay here. B)

Edited by kar wren
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shadow
We don't have nearly enough information about what happened here to judge who's in the right or the wrong. From what I've heard, Randy Stirm was accused of illegally fishing in municipal waters. His response was that he has a proper fishing license. It doesn't seem as if he's actually addressing the specific complaint or complaints against him. What I don't know is whether the waters in question are completely barred from fishing as a breeding ground or something like that or whether they just require a special permit to fish there, whether his boat had just accidentally strayed into those waters once or whether he had fished there on several occasions, or whether there was a history of warnings or fines for his having fished there and if so, whether he'd continued to do so. He appears to be sidestepping this issue.

 

I also don't know whether, under Philippine fisheries regulations, a court order is required for search and seizure of a commercial vessel (IANAL). If the navy got involved and used deadly force, it sounds like someone may have told them that the boat was used in smuggling: otherwise, why would the navy fire on a fishing boat merely for fishing? It would seem that a fine and/or suspension of the license for illegal fishing would be more appropriate. Also, the crew did technically flee from justice by trying to run away from the navy gunboat, adding obstruction to the charges against them.

 

There are two sides to every story and all I've heard is Randy's side, thanks to videos of his boat that he made while standing on a pier and complaining that the officials aren't playing fair. In his videos I never heard any shots being fired nor any navy personnel ordering the crew into the water so they could sink the boat, and I never saw any damages to the boat: just a few distant shots of the boat, close-ups of some people on the pier, and Randy's complaining voice. So far we just have his word about what all took place.

 

He must have done something to piss people off. I wonder what it was? If the fishing co-op is trying to monopolize the local commercial fishery, I wonder why he didn't just join the co-op himself in the first place rather than trying to fish independently? If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. I suspect that Randy refused to join the co-op for reasons of his own, friction between him and other fishermen was generated, words were spoken adding fuel to the fire, and things started happening.

 

As an aside, they say he's an American but his accent sounds unlike any American one I've ever heard: perhaps Norwegian? Does anybody know if he's a naturalized American citizen and if so, where he's originally from? Just curious.

 

Edit: wh00ps, I did it again! Jay here. B)

 

 

This may help to answer jurisdictional confusion;

 

ii.

 

Article XII, Sec. 7

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2_little_time

I don't quite understand why Randy was on the pier. How or who took him from his boat to bring him back to the pier?

I have to agree, alot of facts being left out, probably on both sides. I find it also odd, that he would be posting the videos on the internet, if a legal case plans to be brought. I am on afew forums, that discuss legal issues, and if ever anyone plans to bring suit, they are immediately advised to STOP posting anything on the internet. It is just "fuel" for the opposition.

 

I also find it stupid for him to post this with one of his videos on YouTube:

 

Video 5 The city of Gingoog Planned to destroy or boat on Thursday August 20, 2009.

From: rstirm52 | 158 views

After holding our boat for 5 days without a hold order our attorney went to Medina and found the city of Gingoog had started dismantling our boat by removing the Bamboo booms from it and also, found the plan on moving it to a secret location to hide it from us. The boat is only float and needs about 15,000 USD to return the boat to condition after the city of Gingoog almost completely destroy it and stole all our equipment.

I will update you later with how we got it back. The clips show us taking the boat home.

That sad thing for us we have no money left to return to boat to fish able condition and now no income to eat!!.

I am shy to ask but, if anyone would like to make a donation to help us please email me at [email protected]

... (more info)

(less info)

View comments, related videos, and more

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Larry:

 

What source did you quote that from?

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shadow
Larry:

 

What source did you quote that from?

 

I believe I made two excepts from the 1987 constitution, and one from the water code of the Philippines, also known as PD 1067.

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Larry:

 

What source did you quote that from?

 

That's the comments on the YouTube Video...you can post comments on the side of the video.

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He's certainly maintaining a high profile for someone who's a guest in another country, isn't he? The nail that sticks up gets pounded down. He'd be better off keeping his mouth shut and letting his lawyer handle it in my opinion. And in future, assuming he doesn't get deported and blacklisted for disrespecting Filipinos, he should take pains to carefully obey all of the laws here.

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