FELIZA Ouano brought her tablet computer when she attended a court hearing yesterday on the damage suit filed by her and 64 other families of those who died when the Princess of the Stars sank during typhoon Frank in 2008.
“I will show to the judge the video of my daughter in case she will ask for it,” Ouano told Sun.Star Cebu. On her tablet is a video clip of her daughter, Analiza, who was among more than 800 passengers who died when the Cebu-bound ship capsized.
In the video, Analiza and a male companion are singing “Somewhere Out There” by Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram. Analiza, who was then 32, worked as a singer in Korea.
Feliza, 65, of Barangay Banilad in Mandaue City, arrived an hour before their court hearing scheduled at 3 p.m. in the sala of Regional Trial Court Judge Sylva Aguirre Paderanga. She and two of her fellow petitioners sat in the rear of the courtroom.
Feliza said she remains willing to pursue the damage suit against Sulpicio Lines Inc., now the Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corp.
Feliza also said she was happy about the decision of the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) to cancel Span Asia Carrier’s certificate of public convenience (CPC) to transport passengers.
She said the vessel’s authority to carry passengers should have been revoked a long time ago. “We waited for that decision. It’s been seven years since the tragedy happened and we are very happy with the decision of Marina,” she said.
The CPC, which the company obtained in May 2005, was supposed to be good until May 2030. Marina cancelled it in the decision dated Jan. 23, 2015.
Feliza’s fellow petitioner, Arjita Cabucos, shared her sentiment. “It is good that Sulpicio Lines is now prohibited to carry passengers so that similar incidents will not happen again at sea,” Cabucos said in Cebuano.
Cabucos’s daughter, Delia, who worked as a singer in Thailand, was among the casualties, too. Delia and Analiza met in Manila on their way back to Cebu.
A total of 64 civil suits were filed by the Public Attorney’s Office 7 against the ship management, on behalf of the families of those who died in the accident. The family members’ claims range from P800,000 to P51 million.
In its decision, Marina said that Span Asia Carrier “failed to take the very exacting legal and moral requirement to exercise extraordinary diligence of a good father of a family as it is engaged in public service as a common carrier.”
Marina also fined Span Asia Carrier P800 for traveling with endosulfan, a corrosive pesticide, marine pollutant and delicate cargo, without a special permit on the day the accident happened.