It’s Marina’s turn to determine who’s at fault-A A +A
Saturday, October 12, 2013
THE Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) has set the trial of the case against mv St. Thomas Aquinas of the 2Go Group and mv Sulpicio Express Siete of Span Asia Carrier Inc. on Oct. 25, where both respondents and prosecution will present their evidence and witnesses.
Ship captains and crew of both vessels were accused of negligence resulting to the collision last Aug. 16 at Lauis Ledge in Talisay City that killed more than 100 people.
While the Special Board of Marine Inquiry (SBMI) conducted an investigation on the mishap, its role was only to determine the case.
Marina will determine what penalties the government will impose on the two vessels that may include the cancellation of franchise to operate of 2Go and Span Asia.
The pre-trial hearing yesterday, which was co-presided by lawyers Bashiruddin Adil and Manuel Portos, were held separately at 10 a.m. for Sulpicio Express Siete and at 2 p.m. for St. Thomas Aquinas.
Adil is the director of Marina 10 (Cagayan de Oro City) while Portos is the director of Marina 8 (Tacloban City).
During the pre-trial for Sulpicio Express Siete, lawyers Jaime Vibar and Rene Inting manifested that in prosecuting the case, it is important to determine where the collision happened.
Vibar said that even the media has the impression that the collision happened in the inbound lane when in fact the Marina and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) concluded that it was in the outbound lane.
He said the collision site should be determined by scientific data like the one established by the automatic identification system (AIS).
For St. Thomas Aquinas, lawyers Saben Loyola and Dennis Cabenos requested for the continuation of their pre-trial on Oct. 24 and promised that they will be ready on Oct. 25.
Prosecutor Fernan Cabral said they will present on Oct. 25 Director Arnie Santiago of the Marina Enforcement Office, which led the investigation of the collision.
Santiago said he has already submitted a report to Marina Administrator Maximo Mejia Jr. with the conclusion that the collision was caused by human error by both captains and crew of both vessels.
Santiago, who is also a member of the SBMI, said SBMI has already submitted its investigation report last month to the Board of Marine Inquiry headed by the PCG commandant.
In his own report to Mejia, Santiago recommended that the captain and crew of both vessels must undergo trainings on collision and value formation.
“I recommended value formation training because I discovered that they (crew) have the wrong attitude of ignoring safety while sailing that resulted to the collision,” he said.
Santiago also recommended that every vessel weighing 35 gross tons and above must be required to install an AIS for easy tracing of location during an incident.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 12, 2013.