Quote for the Week..

"Why are the country’s political leaders quick to act on amending the Constitution to change nationalistic provisions for the benefit of foreigners or to extend their terms of office but are allergic to amending the Constitution to address the people’s aspirations for self-determination?" - Marvic Leonen,Dean of the UP College of Law, in a keynote address delivered at the 1st International Solidarity Conference on Mindanao; March 16-18, 2009 in Davao City, Philippines.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Arroyo: Sulpicio Lines accountable for tragedy

An angry President Macapagal-Arroyo on Tuesday said she was holding Sulpicio Lines accountable for the sea tragedy.

“We are holding the ferry company accountable to ensure that we find out how this ferry tragedy could have occurred so we can take steps to make sure it never happens again,” she said in a speech during dinner hosted for her by the US Chamber of Commerce and the US-Asean Business Council at the Willard InterContinental Hotel here Tuesday.

When contacted for comment, Suplicio legal counsel Manny Espina urged the President to wait for the outcome of the investigation on the sinking of MV Princess of the Stars off Sibuyan Island on June 21 in the wake of typhoon Frank's fury.

“The Special Board of Marine Inquiry is on going. We will wait for the result of the investigation to determine if the company is liable,” Espina told.

“The court will also determine if we are liable,” he added in anticipation of the charges to be filed against the company by the relatives of the victims.

Hours before her keynote speech at the dinner, Ms Arroyo told reporters how she felt as the complete picture of the shipwreck began to emerge.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of life from the typhoon and the ferry tragedy,” Arroyo said shortly after her meeting with US President George W. Bush at the White House.

“I am also angry at what happened with the capsizing of the ferry and demand a thorough investigation to find out exactly what happened, why it happened and if it could have been avoided.”

“The investigation must reveal the facts so I will not assign any blame at this point. But rest assured, we will get to the bottom of this tragedy and hold people accountable if that is what the finding will reveal”.Arroyo said she also wanted to know why the vessel was allowed to sail despite information that it would go through the path of typhoon Frank.

Bush also expressed condolences and sympathy for the victims and sent a second and bigger US Navy aircraft carrier to conduct search and rescue operations off Sibuyan Island in Romblon where the ferry sank.

During her 50-minute meeting with Bush at the Oval Office on Tuesday morning, Washington time, Bush said he sent another aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan to help in the search and rescue of the victims.

Last Monday, Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, a former ambassador to the Philippines told Ms Arroyo the US government dispatched an aircraft carrier and a reconnaisance plane to help in the rescue effort. (Nilda Gallo; INQ.net)

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