MANILA (Mabuhay) – The National Museum will coordinate with all parties concerned in verifying the supposed wreckage of the World War II Japanese battleship Musashi, Malacañang said Saturday.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Philippine laws will apply in cases of arcaheological finds in the country.
“At this point, the National Museum is at least trying to contact them to coordinate … under jurisdiction nila ito,” she said on government-run dzRB radio.
She also urged the public to allow the National Museum to coordinate with the group of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, whose group discovered the supposed wreck.
When asked if Philippine laws will apply in this situation, she said, “yes,” adding this is an underwater archaeological find.
Besides, she said this is not the first time involving such wreckage.
“A dozen Japanese warships have been found in various places in the Philippines,” she said.
Valte also indicated the ship is not likely to be surfaced.
“Nagiging dive site, at least in the case of the first 12 found within the country,” she said.
Earlier, Romblon Gov. Eduardo Firmalo welcomed the discovery of the World War II Japanese battleship Musashi by Allen and his team in Sibuyan Sea.
But he said that as of Friday, the provincial government was not informed about the group’s exploration.
“Even the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine Navy were also unaware about the exploration conducted. Since there may be artifacts which are historically significant, government institutions like the National Museum and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (should have been) informed,” he said.
“Being a Japanese vessel, it is also proper to inform the embassy of Japan. As reverence to their fallen soldiers, there may also be ways how to regard the issue with utmost traditional sensitivity. We hope that national laws and international protocols be observed for proper coordination and collaboration,” he added. (MNS)