Cebu court awards compensation to heirs of ‘MV Princess’ victims
MANILA, Philippines—The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) announced that the Cebu court had ruled in favor of indemnifying the heirs of the people who died when MV Princess of the Stars capsized in June 2008.
Each of the 55 families or heirs will receive P200,000 in moral and exemplary damages, plus loss of income ranging from P1.9 million to P9 million. The total is over P200 million.
“More than 13 years from the capsizing of the M/V Princess of the Stars on June 21, 2008, the Public Attorney’s Office received copies of the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Cebu, Branch 16 in 59 cases filed,” PAO said in a statement.
The court, in its ruling, said an examination of records showed “that there is a categorical finding of fraud and negligence on the part of Sulpcio. It was established that the calculated risk taken by [the] Captain proves fatal to passengers.”
The court also noted that the transfer of endosulfan cargo to M/V Princess of the Stars was not disclosed during the inspection, which indicated “wanton, fraudulent and reckless.”
Of the 59 cases, four have been dismissed for failure to present evidence.
PAO Chief Persida Rueda-Acosta said: “of the four cases dismissed, the PAO will file the appropriate Motion for Reconsideration.”
For the second time, the Cebu Court has awarded damages to family members of those whose lives were lost in the disaster.
In 2015, a Manila Court ruled in favor of the heirs in 71 cases awarding a total of P241-million in damages.
However, Acosta lamented that none of the heirs have yet to receive the compensation as the cases are still pending appeal in higher courts.
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