M/V Princess of the Stars: SC says case vs Sulpicio VP to push through
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M/V Princess of the Stars: SC says case vs Sulpicio VP to push through

/ 03:57 PM October 22, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The case against one of the officials of Sulpicio Lines over the 2008 sinking of M/V Princess of the Stars has to push through after the Supreme Court declared that its Dec. 10, 2018 ruling has become final and executory.

A copy of the entry of judgment made public Tuesday was about the decision written by Associate Justice Jose C. Reyes Jr. that ordered the Manila Court to reinstate the criminal case for reckless imprudence against Edgar S. Go, SLI First Vice-President for Administration and team leader of the Crisis Management Committee.

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Associate Justices Diosdado M. Peralta, Marvic Leonen, Alexander Gesmundo, and Ramon Paul Hernando concurred in the decision.

The High Court ruled that the Court of Appeals (CA) erred in coming up with a decision last March 22, 2013 and a resolution dated January 8, 2014 that granted Go’s petition to reverse and set aside the resolution of the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued in 2009 which found him liable for reckless imprudence and ordered the filing of the said case before the Manila RTC.

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The DOJ panel found that Go was involved in the decision-making on whether a vessel should be allowed to sail such that he should have canceled or discouraged the voyage considering the severe weather at that time

“(T)he consolidated petitions for review are granted. The decision of the Court of Appeals is reversed and set aside. The Regional Trial Court of Manila Branch 5 is ordered to forthwith reinstate the criminal case as against respondent Go,” the SC ruled in its decision.

The tribunal explained that while the shipping firm’s officials faced civil liabilities for failing to safely deliver its passengers, they also faced criminal liabilities for possible negligence which resulted in deaths and injuries.

“The civil action against a shipowner for breach of contract of carriage does not preclude criminal prosecution against its employees whose negligence resulted in the death of or injuries to passengers,” the High Court explained.

The Princess of the Stars sailed from Manila at 8 a.m. on June 20, 2008, bound for Cebu City, but sank off Sibuyan Island, Romblon, on June 22 after being battered by strong winds and big waves brought about by Typhoon ‘‘Frank.’’

A total of 227 people died, 592 went missing while 32 survived in the tragedy./ac

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TAGS: M/V Princess of the Stars, Supreme Court, Typhoon Frank
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