Korea ferry disaster, Lawis Ledge collision

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014


AUG.16 last year, the passenger ferry mv 2Go collided with the cargo ship Sulpicio Express Siete off Lawis Ledge, Talisay City. At least 137 people were killed; 29 were missing.

Last April 16, the South Korean passenger ferry mv Sewol capsized. At least 188 people were killed; 144 were missing.

The two ship incidents are similar in the impact of the deaths on families and communities and the enormousness of the tragedy.

They differ in the response of their respective governments. And it's what we Filipinos inevitably compare, odious as comparisons are, to the point of being trite.

We cite culture as the reason: the South Koreans enforce and own responsibility quickly; Pinoys dodge sanctions by using every device there is, legal or dubious.

The Sokor prime minister resigned; the ship captain was jailed. The Pinoy skippers, not yet charged, are still free.

PM Chong Hong-won cited, but didn't use, "deep-rooted evils" and "varieties of irregularities" that led to the accident. Instead, he chose to bear the blame, which many Pinoys wouldn't do even after all remedies are exhausted.

Culture

A question of culture, the layers of skin on the face, but also a matter of over-protecting rights under our legal system.

We just have too much law, a surfeit of techniques and technicalities that stall the decision and stay execution of the order.

Often it's the victims, relatives of the dead and missing, who suffer from the heavily lopsided scale of justice.

Thick faces may have a lot to do with it.

(paseares@gmail.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 01, 2014.

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