Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts
Volume IV, Number 12 April 25 - May 1, 2004 Quezon City, Philippines
Cover-up in Missing Seamanís Case Exposed
father of missing seafarer Allan Macavinta, saw bloodstains and what appeared to
be ďbullet-holesĒ on one of Allanís clothes that was returned to the
family by a fellow seaman.
late December, Allan Macavintaís family became worried because they have not
heard from him for about a month.
But when they went to Seawork Force Manila, Allanís manning agency,
they were given the incredible story that Allan jumped ship in Brazil.
father, Casimiro, was puzzled with the agencyís story. He saw bloodstains and
what appeared to be ďbullet holesĒ on clothes that were among his sonís
belongings. Allanís belongings were brought to the Macavinta family in Cebu by
a fellow seaman. He also maintained that Allan did not jump ship.
was only after being pressed for proof to back their claims that Allan jumped
ship did the agency show a copy of a report issued by the Brazilian police.
After translating the police report, the family discovered that Allan was
reported missing on Nov. 27, 2003 from the M/V Athens while it was docked in
Brazil. Further, the report stated that on Dec. 11, a cadaver matching Allanís
physical description was found by Brazilian authorities.
Seawork Force Manila stood pat on its claim that Allan jumped ship.
It even argued that the two crewmembers it sent to identify the body
found by Brazilian police maintained that it was not Allan.
now, Allan's manning agency tells us that Allan is still alive and that he
simply jumped ship. But if he's alive, why hasn't he called? He
hasn't even contacted his wife and two children. Also, if he jumped ship,
why would he leave his belongings on board?" Casimiro Macavinta,
Allanís father, asserts.
Seawork Force is notorious for violating the rights and welfare of seafarers.
Perhaps the agency is covering up to escape liabilities resulting from Allan's
death," according to Maita Santiago, secretary-general of Migrante
International, a group of overseas Filipino workers.
family also approached the Department of Foreign Affairs for assistance but its
own verification is proceeding at a snailís pace.
The Philippine post in Brazil promised to send the cadaverís dental
impressions so that the family can compare it with Allanís dental records.
But until now nothing has happened.
also bewail the snail's pace and inutility of the DFA regarding cases like
this,Ē Santiago said. ďAll the family seeks now is that Allan's body be
repatriated soonest so that he may be given a proper burial. By delaying
the identification of the corpse, the DFA is prolonging the misery being
suffered by he Macavinta family."
International compares the anguish experienced by the Macavinta family because
of the Philippine governmentís seeming indifference and ineptitude to the
plight suffered by the family of domestic worker Grace Aguilar.
Aguilar was a domestic in Taiwan who reportedly committed suicide last August 3
by jumping from her employerís 8th floor apartment.
Like in Allanís case, the official report on the incident was full of