PCG raps ferry owner with fraud over deaths
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has filed a complaint for syndicated estafa against the owner of MB Aya Express and several others after the boat recently capsized in Laguna de Bay, leaving 27 people dead.
PCG spokesperson Rear Adm. Armand Balilo said the complaint that was filed against the boat captain and other members of the Talim Island Motorboat and Patrons Association (Tipmopa) was based on “fraud” and “misrepresentation.”
The complaint was lodged before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor in Taytay, Rizal, on Wednesday, he said.
Rear Adm. Hostillo Arturo Cornelio, district commander of the PCG District National Capital Region-Central Luzon, explained in a separate statement that they filed syndicated estafa because Tipmopa was not authorized to operate in the Port of Pritil in Talim Island and has been “operating and deceiving the public” the past several years.
“If you can notice, the pier was disorganized. It has no ticketing equipment and they are the ones who control the scheduling of the motor banca,” he said. “There was deceit and this constitutes fraud.”
Cornelio also said that only 22 passengers were indicated in the manifest, yet it exceeded the maximum seating capacity of 42.