• ‘Stars’ victims’ kin to NBI: Turn over evidence to PAO

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    Survivors and relatives of victims of the sinking of MV Princess of the Stars off the coast of Romblon seven years ago on Thursday urged the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to turn over pieces of evidence in its possession to the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) so they could identity other victims.

    PAO chief Persida Acosta said 400 bodies are yet to be recovered from the sunken ferry boat near Sibuyan Island and many of the pieces of evidence such as skeletons, pictures, bones, X-rays are still with the NBI.

    Also on Thursday, a hearing was held at Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 49 urging the court to compensate the survivors and the families of those who died in the tragedy.

    Acosta said 40 witnesses have testified, seven of whom were common witnesses, including Read Admiral Luis Tuason of the Philippine Coast Guard.

    Thirty-two plantiffs are still to be presented as witnesses.

    “We expect to finish the presentation of witnesses early next year and we hope to have a resolution [in]the same year,” Acosta said.

    Similar cases are also being heard before the Manila RTC 5 and Cebu courts.

    Continuation of presentation of the prosecution’s evidence is set for today at 8:30 a.m.

    In Cebu, continuation of trial is set for January 25 and 26 next year.

    MV Princess of the Stars is a ferry owned by Sulpicio Lines that capsized at the height of Typhoon Frank, which passed directly over Romblon.

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