DOJ OKs filing of case vs owners of oil spill vessel, several others

DOJ OKs filing of case vs owners of oil spill vessel, several others

/ 02:45 PM February 14, 2024

Oriental Mindoro town hit by oil spill runs out of calamity funds

The coastline of Pola,  Oriental Mindoro is reeling from the widespread oil spill from the sunken MT Princess Empress as seen in this photo taken on March 6, 2023. The industrial fuel that leaked from the ship forced local fishermen to temporarily abandon their source of livelihood. (PHOTO BY NOEL GUEVARA OF GREENPEACE)

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday approved the filing of a criminal case against owners of M/T Princess Empress and several others for the oil spill in Oriental Mindoro and parts of Batangas province last year.

To be included in the complaint are the corporate officers of RDC Reield Marines Services Inc., two crews of M/T Princess Empress, one private individual who is the project manager and one from the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).


They are accused of multiple counts of falsification by private individual and multiple use of falsified documents under Article 172 in relation to Article 171 (2) of the Revised Penal Code and multiple counts of falsification of public or official documents.


“Following a comprehensive evaluation of affidavits and evidence, the panel of DOJ prosecutors uncovered irregularities in certain documents related to the construction and certificate of public convenience of M/T Princess Empress,” the DOJ said in a statement.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla assured that those responsible for the oil spill will be held accountable.

“Negligence cannot be used as an excuse to destroy the environment and livelihood of people,” the Remulla said.

“It is important to be diligent on land and on our waters,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, DOJ Spokesperson Jose Dominic Clavano IV said “the environmental case is slightly more complicated but in progress already in terms of gathering of evidence and case build-up.”


Pola was among the towns that sustained the most damage from the oil spill.

The February 2023 sinking of the oil tanker affected over 75 kilometers of coastlines while 42,400 families from 107 affected areas in the provinces of Oriental Mindoro, Palawan, Antique, and Batangas have been given various forms of assistance.

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TAGS: case, DoJ, oil spill

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