DOJ taps NBI, PNP to probe claim that MT Princess Empress is a rebuilt scrap
MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are looking at the claim of a witness that MT Princess Empress is already a rebuilt scrap.
“We will look at these declarations. Very important kasi ‘pag sinabi na bago yung barko [These declarations are very important because if the vessel is new], they’re saying already there’s a very little chance they have any liability in this case,” Remulla said over Radio DZBB.
“Pero pag nakita na luma na yan, reconditioned, syempre nakatutok kaagad sa kanila yung atensyon [Once confirmed that this (vessel) is old, reconditioned, of course, the attention of everyone is already on them],” Remulla added.
The claim of the witness is very serious, said Remulla, that the DOJ tagged both the NBI and PNP Crime Lab for help.
“We will continue with the investigative process,” he said.
The DOJ chief added that they will also coordinate with Marina “to give us the permitting process to walk us through how they gave MT Princess Empress all these regulatory permits needed for it to be able to set sail in Philippine waters.”
Remulla said the vessel should have been subject to an inspection as part of the permitting process.
On possible liabilities of government officials, if there are any and that of the owner of the vessel, Remulla said “we will look at everything first. It is very hard to conclude what violations was committed without talking to them and without getting all the papers.”