DOJ: PCG, MARINA under probe over MT Princess Empress sailing sans CPC, permit
An inter-agency committee and the National Bureau of Investigation are looking into the possibility that some officials of the Philippine Coast Guard and the Maritime Industry Authority colluded to allow the ill-fated MT Princess Empress to sail despite the absence of a necessary license.
Department of Justice spokesperson Mico Clavano said the RDC Reield Marine Services applied for an amendment to its Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) to include the motor tanker in November 2022. However, the CPC has yet to be issued due to a lack of documents.
“Yes, yung PCG po at ‘yung MARINA ay kasama din po sa investigation dahil nakakuha kami ng information na kahit lacking po yung documents and requirements nila [MT Princess Empress] for compliance, they were still allowed to sail,” Clavano told reporters.
(The PCG and the MARINA are included in the investigation because we received information that even though they [the MT Princess Empress] lacked documents and requirements for compliance, they were still allowed to sail.)
“Kaya tinitignan namin yung possible collusion between some MARINA and PCG employees or officers and we’re trying to figure out bakit nakapag sail pa itong MT Princess Empress kahit wala pa silang amended CPC tsaka wala silang permit to operate,” he added.
(That’s why we are looking into possible collusion between some MARINA and PCG employees or officers and we’re trying to figure out why the MT Princess Empress was allowed to sail even though they don’t have an amended CPC and they did not have a permit to operate.)
He said there was apparent negligence on the part of the agencies.
“Dahil po, without even looking at the necessary documents nakita ho natin na itong MT Empress Princess was made of mere scrap… parang basura na ginawang oil tanker. With that information, masasabi natin na very negligent yung naging treatment ng oil tanker,” Clavano said.
GMA News Online has sought comment from PCG, MARINA and the owner of the vessel and will publish their replies as soon as they are available. —NB, GMA Integrated News