Kin of sunken ferry victims 'demoralized'

Posted at 08/05/2014 5:27 PM

MANILA – The relatives of the victims of the sunken M/V Princess of the Stars are ''demoralized'' over the recent Supreme Court (SC) clearing a top executive of Sulpicio Shipping Lines of criminal liability.

The high court earlier affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) which said there was no probable cause to indict Edgar Go, Sulpicio’s first vice president for administration, for reckless imprudence.

The SC ordered the criminal case against Go dismissed, saying that Go's liability was merely civil.

Public Attorney's Office chief Persida Rueda Acosta, counsel for the petitioners, said they will appeal the SC ruling.

Acosta maintained that Go has criminal liability for the sinking of the ship in 2008 which left at least 862 passengers dead.

''His failure to stop the ferry from sailing even if the weather is bad, that is criminal negligence. His failure to order the dropping of the ship's anchor even if there was available communication is also criminal negligence," Acosta told dzMM.

She said the dragging out of the case, and the recent SC ruling have left the victims' relatives demoralized.

Acosta said the CA should have let the lower court continue hearing the case. She said Go was already standing trial before a Manila court when the the CA cleared Go.

Acosta added nine witnesses have been presented before the lower court when the CA issued its decision.