Crew of grounded Navy flagship to undergo stress debriefing

By Priam Nepomuceno

September 9, 2018, 9:51 am

MANILA – After the successful retrieval of the grounded Philippine Navy (PN) flagship BRP Gregorio del Pilar (FF-15) off Hasa-Hasa Shoal in Palawan, its officers and crew will be subjected to a stress debriefing to help them recover from their ordeal.

"They will undergo a stress debriefing while concurrent efforts are underway in further inspecting the extent of repairs to be done," PN spokesperson Commander Jonathan Zata said in a statement Saturday.

Zata said the crew attended a thanksgiving mass held on board the ship shortly after its arrival at Subic Bay 11: 50 a.m. Friday.

Meanwhile, Commander Dominic B. Benauro has been appointed as new commanding officer of BRP Gregorio del Pilar.

"He is a member of PMA (Philippine Military Academy) Class 2000 and has commanded a number of commissioned vessels of the Navy," Zata said.

As this develops, the Special Investigating Committee established by PN flag-officer-in-command (FOIC), Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad, and under Commodore Toribio Adaci Jr., has begun the formal inquiry surrounding the circumstances of the ship's grounding last August 29.

"The result of the inquiry will be submitted to the FOIC, PN and is intended to determine the facts of the incident, as well as actions that will ensure that similar circumstances will not recur in the future," Zata said.

The primordial concern of the Navy, he added, is to determine valuable lessons learned from the incident, as well as the expeditious restoration of the flagship to operational status. (PNA)