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Sulpicio bucks BMI findings on ‘Princess’ tragedy

August 27, 2008 12:19pm
MANILA, Philippines - The Sulpicio Lines Inc (SLI) on Wednesday bucked the findings of the Board of Marine Inquiry (BMI) that placed liability on the shipping firm for the MV Princess of the Stars disaster.

During the resumption of the hearing of the Maritime Industry Authority(Marina) on the tragedy, Sulpicio lawyer Arthur Lim said they also plan to appeal the decision before the BMI, according to a report on QTV 11’s News on Q.

In its 65-page report released Tuesday, the BMI said the SLI “failed to be extra diligent in transporting its passengers to its destination."

As a recommendation, the BMI said that the franchise of the Sulpicio Lines, which has been repeatedly embroiled in previous sea tragedies, should be suspended.

The BMI has given Sulpicio Lines 30 days to appeal the body’s decision.

At the Marina hearing, Lim said that should the BMI fail to grant the company’s appeal, Sulpicio would be forced to bring up the matter to the Department of Transportation and Communication, and even to the Court of Appeals.

Lim said that the decision, which also described missing ship captain Florencio Marimon as “negligent," was putting the jobs of all employees of the shipping lines at stake.

For its part, the Marina had already said they would adopt as “input" BMI’s findings, adding it would come up with its own decision as early as next week.

Almost two months ago, the BMI and Marina separately carried out investigations on the tragedy that befell Princess, which was carrying 800 passengers and crew when it capsized off Romblon last June 21.

Sulpicio Lines said 32 survived the tragedy while 312 bodies were recovered so far. Retrieval operations were halted following the discovery of the endosulfan cargo. - GMANews.TV