Armed group takes over Ocean Adventure in Subic – Report

  • A group of around 70 armed men has reportedly taken over and occupied Ocean Adventure for a week now
  • A foreigner shareholder has been tagged as the one behind the hostile takeover
  • The local authorities planned to retake the theme park anytime this week

MANILA, Philippines – A group of armed men has reportedly taken over the Ocean Adventure in Subic since February 13 in an apparent attempt to wrestle control of the popular marine theme park following a legal battle between shareholders.

The armed group, composed of around 70 men, is reportedly led by Scott N. Sharpe; a foreigner and one of the founding owners of the company.

According to Subic Bay News, Sharpe has appointed himself as chairman, replacing Robert C. Braun, of the Subic Bay Marine Exploratorium, Inc. (SBMEI) which runs Ocean Adventure, and as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), replacing Arthur D. Tai.

“We have come under attack by nearly 70 armed mercenaries, who came in the night. First abusing and evicting the women from the staff dormitory, displacing security… they broke down doors, forced open a vault and coerced scared staff to attend to their demands… nothing about this is other than thuggery,” the local newspaper quoted Braun as saying.

Sharpe and Tai are reportedly locked in a legal dispute over the company’s ownership. The case had been filed with Olongapo City’s Regional Trial Court but was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

Sharpe’s group has since barred employees from entering the premises after the heavily-armed men overpowered the park’s security personnel last week.

In an interview with DZMM, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Chairman (SBMA) Martin Diño expressed disappointment at its own security force for its inability to thwart the attack.

“Biro n’yo security namin dito, nasa 800 tapos walang nagawa, e 70 lang iyan. Mananagot po lahat ng nagkulang dito,” said Diño.

[Imagine, our security is composed of 800 and were not able to do anything. They’re only 70. Those who are at fault will be held responsible over this.]

The official added they have coordinated with the Philippine National Police (PNP and other authorities to reclaim the area anytime this week.

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  1. 24 February 2017

    STATEMENT OF THE SUBIC BAY METROPOLITAN AUTHORITY (SBMA) RE: PEACE AND ORDER SITUATION IN THE SUBIC BAY FREEPORT ZONE

    The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is advising its locators, stakeholders, workers and the public at large that the Subic Bay Freeport Zone continues to be peaceful and there is no threat of any kind that will endanger law and order in the Freeport.

    The SBMA regrets the fact that reports about the February 13 incident at the Ocean Adventure facility were not reflective of the true state of matters thereat, causing unnecessary worry and concern.

    In truth, what happened at the facility was a result of an intra-corporate dispute which is in the process of being resolved by the ownership and management of the Subic Bay Marine Exploratorium, Inc. (SBMEI) which runs Ocean Adventure.

    In fact, the Department of Labor and Employment conducted its own impartial inspection of the facility yesterday, and confirmed that all operations at Ocean Adventure continue to run normally and peacefully, taking due note of the large number of young students enjoying their trip to the facility.

    Again, we are informing the public that everything is normal, and that the security and safety that is expected within the Freeport Zone is and will always be there.

    The SBMA continues and will always strictly enforce the rule of law in the Freeport and we assure our stakeholders and the community that the SBFZ is safe from any security threat.
    We enjoin the public to put this issue to rest and move forward as we continue to make Subic Bay Freeport the best investment and tourist destination in the Philippines.

    ATTY. WILMA AMY T. EISMA
    Administrator

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