By Martin Sadongdong
The BRP Gregorio del Pilar (FF-15), Philippine Navy (PN)’s flagship frigate, arrived in Subic, Zambales on Friday for repair following its grounding in Hasa-Hasa (Half Moon) Shoal in Palawan.
Consequently, Comdre. Toribio Adaci Jr., concurrent Commander Fleet-Marine Ready Force, said the Navy has created a special investigation committee on the grounding of BRP Gregorio del Pilar on August 29 while conducting patrol in the West Philippine Sea (WPS). He serves as the chairman of the special investigation committee.
Adaci said the BRP Gregorio del Pilar arrived at Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) around 11:50 a.m. after it was pulled out on September 3.
“[The] FF-15 will be inspected to determine the extent of repairs to be conducted,” he explained.
The official said the BRP Gregorio del Pilar last dry docked in 2015 and is scheduled to undergo repair and maintenance this year.
“The incident has somewhat advanced its schedule of repair and maintenance,” Adaci said.
Meanwhile, he also assured that the special investigation committee will leave no stones unturned to determine the cause of the grounding of the frigate.
Aside from Adaci, he said the special investigation committee is composed of key Navy officers and backed up by technical staff and experts.
“The priority of the Navy is to determine the actual cause/s of the incident and ensure that appropriate actions are undertaken in order to avoid similar incidents to occur in the future” he said.
“Likewise, the ship’s expeditious restoration to operational status is the intended outcome of the dry docking and repair of FF-15,” he added.
Adaci said the results of the investigation will be submitted to Navy Flag-Officer-in-Command Vice Adm. Robert Empedrad as soon as it is finished