Some Marina personnel under probe after sinking of MT Princess Empress
MANILA, Philippines — The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) on Friday said that some of its personnel would be subjected to investigation after the sinking of the tanker, MT Princess Empress, which caused a massive oil spill in Oriental Mindoro and other areas.
On Thursday, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said it is already looking into the possible culpability of personnel from related maritime authorities after the tragic incident.
According to Marina Legal Service Director Sharon Aleda, Marina has already conducted a fact-finding investigation, with the findings already submitted to its anti-graft and corruption committee and the DOTr.
“The fact-finding investigation has some of those findings, which is why it was endorsed to our anti-graft and corruption committee for further investigation and to look closely into the matter. It also has been endorsed to Marina anti-graft and corruption committee and has already convened,” said Aleda.
“[The involved personnel] are going to be investigated observing, of course, the rules of procedure that our anti-graft and corruption committee follows, and it will go through a process,” she added.
So far, two personnel have been found to have violated Marina’s regulations. However, Aleda said that the final list of personnel would still depend on the preliminary investigation of Marina’s anti-graft and corruption committee.
“Tinitignan po kung sino ‘yung mga personnel ng Marina from construction hanggang sa registration ng vessel ang naging involved po doon,” said Aleda.
(We are looking at who the personnel of the Marina from construction to the vessel’s registration were involved.)
No specific details regarding the investigation’s findings were further disclosed as Aleda explained that they would have to follow Marina’s existing procedures.
It can be recalled that the MT Princess Empress was carrying over 900,000 liters of industrial fuels when it sank off the waters of Naujan, Oriental Mindoro, threatening several provinces’ marine ecosystems, coastal communities, and even tourism.
Despite not having the necessary permit, the tanker sailed 17 times before sinking on Feb. 28, 2023.