I TAKE exception to the news article published in your paper last May 30, 2015 blaming our shipping company for the human waste found on Santa Fe’s shores.

Allow us first to set the facts straight.

Our company, Island Shipping Corp., recognizes that its operations can impact the environment and economy. Deeply concerned of our corporate respnsibility, we are always sensitive to environmental issues and strictly adhere to all environmental standards and regulations.

All the ships of Island Shipping Corp. have sewage tanks that are verifiable by the proper authorities upon a sanctioned inspection. In fact, the Bureau of Quarantine, which conducts cregular inspections on all vessels, had issued all our ships Ship Sanitation Control Certificates. Copies of said certificates and photos of the sewage tanks are provided for your perusal.

The report, a copy of which has not been furnished to us, from a supposed “inspection” conducted by Mayor Jose Esgana and his people stating that our ships have no sewage tanks and that human waste were allegedly disposed of at sea is not only unfounded and erroneous but baseless and defamatory as well.

In addition, the management was never able to comment or verify and, less so, admit to the absence of sewage tanks in any and all of our ships. Capt. Medel Gomez, whose statements were inaccurate, is not part of the company’s management but is part of the ship’s crew. If it is his comments that are being used as the supposed admission by our management, then it is invalid.

Logic and human experience dictates that these human waste can never be from our ships. How much waste do vessels generate in a one hour and ten minutes ferry service with available toilets in the terminals of origin and destination?

Is it not much more probable that these waste are due to Mayor Esgana not being able to solve his municipality’s sanitation issues? Santa Fe Vice Mayor Celso Espinosa admitted that residents were to blame for the waste on their shores as they do not have proper bathrooms and septic tanks. Why should the consequences of Mayor Esgana’s inaction on the issue raised by his vice mayor be blamed on us?

A better part of prudence prescribes that Mayor Esgana should have taken better care in handling this sensitive matter, as having it plastered simultaneously in all the major dailies in Cebu not only damages the company but also the entire island and all its inhabitants because his irresponsible statements will ultimately cause the decline of the island’s tourism industry.

I respectfully demand that this malicious and false accusation against our company be stopped. Let us be reminded of what Thomas Fuller said that, “even doubtful accusations leave a stain behind them.”

Moreover, I would also like to reserve all available legal remedies against Mayor Esgana for tarnishing the good reputation of our company. --Alexander T. Tan, President, Island Shipping Corp.


Recent political developments taking place as the national and local elections are fast approaching have regaled the Cebuano electorate, what with the spectacle of three Osmeñas showing signs of politikatitis caused by the viral infection of ambition with an inclination to vomit the truth.

In Cebu City, a political “has been” has announced that he is staging a comeback and have a return bout with incumbent Mayor Mike Rama in the mayoral race. He has proclaimed not only his candidacy but also his being “cancer-free,” as if he is a doctor of medicine.

Everybody knows that he is a sick man not only physically but also psychologically. He has managed to dictate on his political henchmen in the city council to derail whatever Mayor Rama plans for the welfare of the constituency of Cebu City by maliciously slashing his budget proposals. “Obstruction” is another virus infecting the system of Tomas Osmeña.

In faraway Toledo City, Sonny Osmeña, who hardly walks, is reportedly running for reelection as city mayor. How can one “run”when he can hardly “walk” due to health reasons and old age?

Not to be outdone is the younger brother of Sonny, Lito Osmeña, who announced his political comeback for the governorship of the province of Cebu. Everybody knows that Lito walks around with a cane.

The situation of these Osmeñas brings to mind an old boxer who wanted to make a comeback and said that while he was already in the autumn of his years, he still wanted to snatch one more springtime.

The electorate should be wary about this situation in the political arena, lest our local political units would suffer for the next three years. --Ernesto A. Elizondo, former Cebu City Councilor