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Relatives of MV Princess of the Stars victims seek reversal of CA ruling.

Byline: Tetch Torres-Tupas

MANILA -- Relatives of victims of MV Princess of the Stars, which sunk in June 2008 off the coast of Romblon and killed at least 800 passengers and crew, asked the Supreme Court to reverse a Court of Appeals ruling that cleared an executive of Sulpicio Lines from criminal liability.

In a 59-page petition for certiorari, the relatives assisted by Public Attorney's Office (PAO) urged the high court to affirm the findings of the Department of Justice against Edgar Co, Vice President for Administration of Sulpicio Lines Incorporated, that he should be held responsible for the tragedy.

Go has been charged with reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide, physical injuries and damage to properties. A hearing is already being conducted before the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 5 where the prosecution has already presented nine witnesses against Go.

Petitioners said Go "deliberately failed to exercise due diligence" when he failed to direct the Ship Captain to drop anchor and seek shelter at the height of Typhoon "Frank."

Go, one of the witnesses said, has direct control and supervision in the operations of Sulpicio Lines Inc. During the preliminary investigation at the Department of Justice, Go said the employees report to him regarding control of operations of SLI vessels.

During the Typhoon "Frank," petitioners said Go knew of the weather advisory as well as the risk but failed to order the captain of the vessel to drop anchor. They said Go even knew that the vessel will take the regular route despite the risk instead of the alternate route.

Also, petitioners said if Go is insisting that he is innocent, his claims is best proven at a full blown trial.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Mar 6, 2014
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