Marina: There’s probablecause vs oil-spill ship owner


THE Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) said on Tuesday  that it has found  probable cause to file charges against  the owners of the sunken MT Princess Empress which caused a massive oil spill  in Oriental Mindoro.

This was disclosed by MARINA Deputy Administrator Sonia Malaluan at an interagency committee meeting on the oil spill held at the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Malaluan, however, did not elaborate on the charges that the agency is planning to file against the oil tanker.

“In fact, MARINA has completed its initial investigation on the shipping properties, on the show-cause order, issued before and a resolution has been issued finding probable cause to file a formal charge to the shipping company,” Malaluan said.

MARINA earlier issued cease and desist orders (CDOs) against the RDC Reield Marine Services, the company that owns the vessel.

The CDO was issued  for the cancellation of RDC Reield Marine Services’ certificate of public convenience (CPC) and another one enjoining the operations of its remaining vessels.

He said the CDOs  will remain in force pending the result of its  investigation on the February 28 sinking of the vessel.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla, in an interview with reporters, described the incident as “a crime against the environment” and “a crime against the Filipino people.” Remulla added that a lot of people should be held accountable.

Even officials of MARINA, according to Remulla, are likely to be criminally charged.

“That is very possible. No one will escape scrutiny when it comes to this,” Remulla added.

Remulla noted that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is still investigating MARINA’s processes to determine the possible charges that will be filed.

“We are determined to make sure that people would not forget that what happened was a crime and not an accident,” the DOJ chief stressed.

Image credits: Oceana