PCG probes ferry sinking

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The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Tuesday created a fact-finding team that will look into the sinking of MV Maharlika 2 off Southern Leyte last week.

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PCG Commander Armand Balilo said the panel will call witnesses, crew and the captain of the vessel.

The team will be headed by Commodore Gilbert Rueras, commander of maritime safety services.

Balilo said the panel will look at the ferry’s manifest to determine how many people were on the vessel when it went down.

The ship sank after being battered by huge waves brought by Typhoon Luis that hit several provinces in Northern Luzon on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Philippine Navy personnel conducting search and rescue operations recovered five more bodies also on Tuesday, bringing to eight the number of fatalities.

Naval spokesperson Lt. Commander Marineth Domingo said one of the victims was a two-year-old baby girl.

“The five recovered cadavers were confirmed casualties from MV Maharlika 2 and were already claimed by their relatives,” according to Domingo, She said  only one remains on the missing persons list.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, also the chairman of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), said the probe by the PCG and the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) will determine the real cause of the vessel’s sinking.
“Until their official findings come out, we would not know what caused the sinking of the ship,” Gazmin said during a briefing at the NDRRMC office in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

Interior Secretary Manuel  Roxas 2nd said the sinking of MV Maharlika 2 could not directly be attributed to the typhoon since there were four or five other ships along the same route at the time but they all reached their destinations safely.

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3 Comments

  1. probe? and then what? overloading, substantial discrepancy between actual passenger and official manifesto, so far was there anybody held criminally liable? none!

    Shipping lines after series of accidents they would just change names and then would operate again.

    Stop fooling people. No need for probe if want to end this tragedies make responsible people held accountable.

  2. Creating a fact finding team is well said. However the Philippines being prone to maritime disasters, what can be implemented by the government to learn from this casualties for safer ships to trade within domestic territorial waters?

    In EU there is EMSA (European Maritime Safety Administration), and each country have a dedicated Maritime Casualty Investigators where, subject to their findings, analyse and propose to implement changes and reforms for better and safer seas.

    The Philippines are pioneers for providing seafarers worldwide, but still seems to demonstrate their shortcomings in view of ship casualties that sadly costs lives.

    I feel that there should be strict control of passenger ships trading within the Philippines, and safety issues should be implemented as per international standards.

    Ship casualties do occur, but when it becomes frequent over above average and lives are lost, then there must be something wrong with the system that urgently needs to be examined, then changed or upgraded.

    Sadly, I am of the views that the system have been long tolerated and abused whereby Entrepreneurs can get away with murder!

    No transparency and no accountability.

    Major restructuring is required if the government is sincere for changes and reforms to improve the system for safety.

  3. This useless probe, like the many other equally useless probes in the past about the high rate of ferry disasters in the Philippines, will not address the nagging problems besetting our unrestricted ferry system. The country has the most tragic loss of lives at sea in the history of the world with the sinking of Dona Paz with the loss of over 4,000 lives. This probe will be done only for show that our public servants – the inept BS Aquino and his equally incompetent sidekick Mar Roxas are trying to do something to correct the ills of our system. They are not because these two stooges are anti-poor.

    I bet when this tragic sinking, like the other ones in the past, is out of public minds, the boats in our ferry system will still be the same – unregulated, decrepit, and overloaded with inadequate safety gears, until the next ferry disaster strikes again.