MANILA – Some 70 armed men have taken over the Ocean Adventure theme park in Subic Bay, the head of government agency overseeing the port area said Thursday.
It was not immediately clear why the suspects occupied the park from Feb. 13, barring employees from entering, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Chairman Martin Diño told DZMM.
“Nakakalungkot kasi supposed to be, dapat hindi nakapasok ang mga iyan,” Diño told radio DZMM.
(It saddens me because they should not have been allowed to enter in the first place.)
“Full coordination na kami ngayon sa kapulisan at lahat ng authority para ma-takeover kasi that’s a continuing threat, ‘yang nangyayari d’yan.”
(We are coordinating with the police and the authorities to take over, because what’s happening there is a continuing threat)
Authorities aim to reclaim the area from the group “anytime this week,” he said.
A group of former investors led by Scott Niel Sharpe, a foreign national, was behind the attack, Aletha Candaliza, spokesperson of the theme park workers told ABS-CBN News.
The group, she said, forcefully evicted women from the staff dormitory, knocked down several doors, opened vaults and demanded food and drinks.
Ten people were injured in the takeover, she said.
“Kung halimbawa pong may dispute sila sa negosyo, hindi po tayo manghimasok doon, pero iyung manner po ng ginawa nila na pagpasok d’yan sa Ocean Adventure, iyung pamamaraan, pumasok sila d’yan nang walang court order, walang sheriff, isa po iyang grave violation,” he said.
(If they indeed have a business dispute, we will not intrude. But their entry into the Ocean Adventure was done without a court order, they were not accompanied by a court sheriff — that’s a grave violation.)
SBMA security has been asked to explain why they failed to stop the group, Diño said.
“Biro n’yo security namin dito, nasa 800 tapos walang nagawa, e 70 lang iyan. Mananagot po lahat ng nagkulang dito,” he fumed.
(Imagine, we have around 800 security personnel here, but they were not able to do anything against 70 men. Those who failed to do their jobs will be held accountable.)
Ocean Adventure is a popular tourist draw in the former US Navy base, that has in the past featured seals and false killer whales.
(Kevin Manalo, ABS-CBN News)