Sulpicio’s experience-A A +A
Monday, August 26, 2013
SULPICIO Shipping, a fellow columnist insisted over coffee last week, simply spelled bad luck. The Sulpicio jinx, he said, did not go away with the change of company name.
I did not argue. I merely thought that perhaps Sulpicio should be listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for being “the most experienced in marine tragedies.” Way makalupig.
When I first saw news photos of the damage on mv Sulpicio Express Siete published by local dailies, I immediately thought that maybe a head-on collision happened at the narrow Lauis Ledge.
A short while later I changed my mind upon hearing news that the damage to the mv St. Thomas Aquinas was near the rear portion of the boat. To me, this suggested the cargo ship rammed the passenger vessel. Stories from Talisay fisherfolks reinforced this belief.
Listening to crew members of the mv Sulpicio Express Siete testify before the Special Board of Marine Inquiry (SBMI) made me curious how TransAsia Nine had overtaken the cargo ship at the narrow outbound lane at Lauis Ledge. That’s if the Sulpicio folks
were telling the truth when it claimed its ship was cruising in the correct lane.
Unfortunately for Sulpicio captain Rolito Gilo, the captain of TransAsia 9 Galipher Ian Faller said the mv Sulpicio Express Siete was cruising inside the inbound lane.
The two were also radioing each other using channel 12, instead of the standard channel 16.
During yesterday’s hearing–yes they had hearings during the weekend to be able to finish as soon as possible--I learned that there was also a fast craft that went ahead.
Testimonies from mv St. Thomas Aquinas crewmen showed anxiety from the moment they realized they were on a collision course with another ship. The narratives from the crew of mv Sulpicio Express Siete gave me a picture of a relaxed crew until the last moment.
I don’t know how the inquiries into the tragedy will finally decide the case. Let’s grant the authorities the benefit of the doubt. But in my opinion, klaro pas upaw nga naigo sa adlaw.
I just hope that the Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corp., formerly Sulpicio Lines Inc., would finally help in various efforts to mitigate the impact of the collision like helping the families of those who died as well as the oil spill cleanup. Nganong ang taga 2GO nga tag-iya sa nalunod nga barko ra man ang nagtabang?
Overheard from a taxi driver when I stopped over to watch retrieval operations at the Cebu South Coastal Road just outside the Talisay City Fish Port last week: “Imbes isda, patay ang nidunggo sa fish port ni Eddiegul.”
Whatever is wrong with that white elephant, Mayor JVR of Talisay City should finally open and use it. Sayang gyud, mayor.
If ever the pork barrel is abolished and not just renamed, we can finally say goodbye to multi-billion anomalies like that perpetrated by Janet Napoles with the concurrence of some senators and congressmen.
We will also see the end to the construction of more white elephants like this Talisay City Fish Port. No more flyovers and similar projects that were pushed using this lame argument: “the budget will be reverted back to the general fund if we won’t push through.”
It will also mean depriving congressmen and senators the chance to recover (and of course profit) from the millions of pesos thrown in to win elections along with the ability to fulfill election promises. This will deny House and Senate officials along with Malacañang the vital instrument of maintaining discipline and political power.
Removing the pork barrel will drive a knife deep into the heart of patronage politics.
This is the reason I urge all to join the anti-pork rally today.
However, I am telling myself that the Aquino administration is not ready to totally overhaul patronage politics. Politicians of all camps and levels still need to raise funds, deliver services even if they were elected legislators, and dispense patronage.
Thus, a system based on line budgeting would be an acceptable option for the Aquino administration. I don’t know if this is acceptable to the groundswell of protests that will manifest today. But definitely, I find this unacceptable.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 26, 2013.