(REF: MARITIME PRACTICE & PROCEDURE – ARREST OF VESSEL)
“Arrest of a vessel is part of the process by which an Admiralty Court gains jurisdiction over the subject matter of a lawsuit. These lawsuits are known as “in rem” actions meaning that the action is again a “thing” rather than a person.
Generally, the vessel, itself, is responsible for payment of liens, mortgages or any other maritime lien that may arise. When the owner encumbers a vessel with a First Preferred Ship’s Mortgage, it is the ship that guarantees payment rather than the owner.
However, the owner may separately contract by a personal promise to pay or other types of guarantee to be personally liable.
An arrest of a vessel is the prerequisite for the court to establish jurisdiction. If the vessel cannot be seized, the court may have no right over the vessel.
An arrest is a physical process by which, in case of the United States, a U.S. Marshal goes aboard the vessel and physically takes charge of it.
The Notice of Arrest must be posted on the vessel, a copy given to the master or person in charge, as well as to the owner.
Also, notice must be published in a newspaper authorized to publish legal notices. An actual notice must be given to all other lien holders who claim an interest in the vessel.”
Therefore, under International Law, you can really Arrest the Vessel.
- Case Digest: Martin Centeno vs. Judge Villalon-Pornillos
- Case Digest: Julius Amanquiton vs. People of the Philippines
- Case Digest: Cesario Ursua vs. Court of Appeals and People of the Philippines – G.R. No. 112170
- Case Digest: Joemar Ortega vs. People – G.R. No. 151085
- Case Digest: Norma de Joya vs. The Jail Warden of Batangas City – GR Nos. 159418-19
It may sound absurd in the legal standpoint of others who may have based their opinion to the substantive and procedural laws of the country (e.g. RAs, Criminal Procedure, Rules of Court/Evidence, etc), but international law provides that the state, through its law enforcement agents, can, in fact, arrest a vessel.
It is just quite unfortunate that in our society, people will give weight to the opinion/words of those who have studied law in formal law schools, over the opinion of a person who has not formally studied in a law school, but is studying a specific branch of international law, with much fervor and interest, and not just by mere compliance for grades.