News Flash

July 31, 2015, Friday
  • Passenger’s disruptive behavior in Cebupac plane from Dubai forced the crew to make an emergency landing in India. 6 hours ago |
  • Crew of PH-bound Cebu Pacific plane made a Filipino passenger alight from the aircraft after causing commotion & bomb scare. 6 hours ago |
  • Enrile attends Sandiganbayan hearing on pork barrel scam. 6 hours ago |
  • DFA to file third diplomatic protest against Canada over trash. 6 hours ago |
  • Magnitude 3.4 quake jolts Sultan Kudarat. 6 hours ago |
  • DPWH to conduct road reblocking in parts of Quezon City & Pasig at 10 pm Friday. 6 hours ago |
  • UNA admits Pres. Aquino’s endorsement of Roxas has weight. 6 hours ago |
  • Binay visits communities in Cavite. 6 hours ago |
  • Binay says Roxas had been dilly-dallying on his presidential candidacy prior to Aquino’s endorsement. 6 hours ago |
  • Sen. Grace Poe hopes the 2016 election campaign will be about discussions on reforms. 6 hours ago |
  • Sen. Grace Poe congratulates Mar Roxas for getting Pres. Aquino’s endorsement. 6 hours ago |
  • Sen. Grace Poe thanks Pres. Aquino for considering her as among those who can continue his administration’s programs. 6 hours ago |
  • Roxas on serving gov’t: “Ibubuhos ko ang lahat. Wala akong ititira para sa sarili ko.” 11 hours ago |
  • Roxas to the Filipino people: “Mga boss, hindi ko sasayangin ang tiwala ninyo.” 11 hours ago |
  • Roxas on Pres. Aquino: “Pnoy allowed us to imagine again what the Filipino is capable of.” 11 hours ago |
  • Roxas: “Ako si Mar Roxas at tinatanggap ko ang hamon ng ating mga boss.” 11 hours ago |
  • Roxas: “Buong tapang at buong paninindigan kong tinatanggap ang tawag ng daang matuwid.” 11 hours ago |
  • Roxas to Aquino: “I have never met a president who sacrificed so much for the country.” 11 hours ago |
  • Roxas’ voice breaks as he remembers his brother Dinggoy’s memory. 11 hours ago |
  • Roxas says it was his brother Dinggoy who died in 1993 who should have taken on the legacy of serving government. 11 hours ago |
  • Roxas: Dito sa Club Filipino ko unang sinabing “Bayan, bago ang sarili.” 11 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino: “Ang magtutuloy sa atin sa Daang Matuwid, ang paniwala ko po, walang iba ang taong ito kundi si Mar Roxas.” 11 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino: “Bakit tayo magpapaakit sa ‘baka,’ kung meron namang sigurado?” 11 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino: “All of us have the obligation to choose the right President.” 11 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino recalls Fmr. Sen. Joker Arroyo used to compare his group as a gathering of people who could fit into a Volkswagen Beetle. 11 hours ago |
  • Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte Mayor Rommel Arnado at Club Filipino praises the peace that Aquino gov’t has put in place in his town. 12 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino and DILG Sec. Mar Roxas enter Kalayaan Hall of Club Filipino. 12 hours ago |
  • Program at Club Filipino includes testimonials from Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program’s beneficiaries. 12 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino’s convoy arrives at Club Filipino in San Juan. 12 hours ago |
  • Fire hits a residential area in Laong Laan, Sampaloc, Manila. 12 hours ago |
  • Road in front of Club Filipino in San Juan currently closed to motorists. 12 hours ago |
  • Liberal Party calls the jam-packed event at Club Filipino ‘A Gathering of Friends.’ 12 hours ago |
  • LP Senators Frank Drilon, Ralph Recto, Bam Aquino & TG Guingona as well as DBM Sec. Butch Abad among those present at Club Filipino. 12 hours ago |
  • ‘Cory Aquino Hall’ in Club Filipino where LP’s event is being held is also where Cory Aquino had taken her oath as PH President. 12 hours ago |
  • ‘Cory Aquino Hall’ in Club Filipino is where Roxas had announced that he was giving way to Aquino for 2010 polls. 13 hours ago |
  • DILG Sec. Mar Roxas arrives at Club Filipino in San Juan with wife Korina Sanchez. 13 hours ago |
  • Program at Club Filipino in San Juan for Pres. Aquino’s endorsement of Mar Roxas’ presidential candidacy begins at 10:30 am Friday. 13 hours ago |

Killer on the loose

By MST News | Aug. 19, 2013 at 12:01am
2013_aug19_editorialTHERE is a killer on the loose, and we have done nothing about it.

Since 1987, Sulpicio Lines—renamed Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corp. in 2009—has figured in maritime disasters that have claimed more than 5,000 lives.

In the latest incident, the company’s cargo vessel, the MV Sulpicio Express 7, collided with the MV St. Thomas Aquinas with 700 people on board, sinking the ferry in the waters off Talisay City, Cebu, Friday night. At least 31 people were killed, and 171 were still missing over the weekend. The accident was the fifth for a company that has somehow managed to avoid closure in the last 25 years, despite its dismal track record.

In December 1987, the company’s ferry, the MV Doña Paz, sank in the shark-infested waters of the Tablas Strait, after colliding with a cargo ship, the MT Vector. The estimated death toll of 4,375 far surpassed the 1,500 killed on the Titanic, and made the sinking the worst peacetime maritime disaster,

Less than a year later, in October 1988, the Doña Marilyn was caught up in a typhoon and sank, killing 389 of its passengers and crew.

In September 1998, the company’s MV Princess of the Orient, a passenger ferry, sank off Fortune Island, near Batangas province, killing an estimated 150 of its 388 passengers.

In June 2008, Sulpicio’s MV Princess of the Stars capsized off the coast of San Fernando, Romblon, at the height of a typhoon. Only 56 of the 862 on board survived. The rest – including those whose bodies were never found – were presumed dead.

The company’s chief executive and president Jordan Go says his company’s string of accidents had nothing to do with the collision on Friday night, but the statement ignores the importance of a public utility’s track record when determining its fitness for service.

While the Supreme Court eventually ruled that it was the owners of the Vector, which was deemed unseaworthy and manned by negligent crew and officers, that were responsible for the 1987 Doña Paz tragedy, the final judgment did nothing to address findings that the crew of the Doña Paz were ill-prepared to safeguard their passengers. Initial Coast Guard findings, in fact, said only one apprentice member of the crew was monitoring the bridge when the accident occurred, and that other officers were either drinking beer or watching television at the time.

The company’s other three disasters were caused by the vessels setting sail during typhoons.

None of this has a direct bearing on the circumstances of last Friday’s accident, of course, and we must await the results of an official inquiry—which is likely to outlast public outrage--before we can establish fault.

Still, we are stumped by a maritime regulatory system that allows such tragedies to continue, and which administers mere slaps on the wrists of companies that play fast and loose with the lives of Filipino sea-bound travelers.
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