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Princess of the Stars Tragedy: Pinning The Blame, Leaving Questions Unanswered

August 27, 2008

Three months and one week after MV Princess of the Stars fell on its side and turned belly up, government probers are releasing their findings, not about what caused the tragedy but about who is to blame.

Strangely, the Board of Marine Inquiry is telling the public what it wants to hear: that only the ship owner, Sulpicio Lines, should be on the carpet with its Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) recommended for cancellation.

No debate there, maybe.

But talking about negligence, what about the wholesale negligence on the part of the government entities whose main responsibility it is to regulate, and guarantee safety in our seas?

  • What of the Coast Guard and it patently anomalous¬† white elephant maritime emergency communications project and lack of honest, and competent, boarding officers?
  • What of the PAGASA and its utter failure to procure properly budgeted weather forecasting equipment?
  • What of the Philippine Ports Authority, the MARINA and their failure to police the ports, including having competent harbor masters?
  • What of the shippers of highly toxic, improperly declared cargo?
  • Are they all going scot free as the neglect for the shiping industry as a whole continues unabated???
  • Are we now simply going to shrug our shoulders until the next Philippine maritime disaster claims hundreds of lives?
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