US Navy fined for 'illegal entry' at Philippine reef
MANILA (AFP) - Philippine authorities said on Tuesday they have fined the US Navy for "unauthorised entry" after an American minesweeper went aground on a World Heritage-listed coral reef.
Manila announced the initial penalty amid growing anger in the Philippines over the Jan 17 stranding of the USS Guardian on the Tubbataha Reef, for which the US Navy has apologised.
A government-led board that manages the reef served formal notice on Tuesday initially citing the US Navy for "unauthorised entry", Mr Jose Lorenzo Tan, a member of the board, told AFP.
The site is protected by Philippine law, and is off-limits to navigation except for research or tourism approved by the marine park superintendent.