MANILA, 14Jun2013 (PNA) – The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) has issued show cause order to the owner of M/V Mt. Carmel, which sank off Burias Island, Masbate, Friday morning
Marina Administrator Maximo Mejia, Jr. said he has ordered the Marina Regional Office in Cebu to issue the show cause order to Corazon Fulache, the owner of Medallion Shipping line.
Cebu is the homeport of the passenger cargo vessel M/V Mt. Carmel. The hearing of the case will be conducted in Cebu.
“We already dispatched a team that will conduct investigation to determine the cause of the sinking. As what the initial report showed, there’s no weather inclement at that time, so we want to know what happened,” he said.
“The owner will have the time to present their (sic) case and explain why the accident happened and why their franchise will not be taken from them,” Mejia said.
Unlike the previous Marina administrators, who immediately issued suspension and grounding of the vessel fleet of shipping company involved in accidents, Mejia believes in deliberate decision making, as it may affect the country’s transport of goods and cargoes.
He said there is no immediate findings or reasons to ground the fleet of Medallion Shipping. The shipping line has a total of 9 vessels, including M/V Mt. Carmel that plies mostly in the Bicol region.
Some of the ships sail Bohol to Masbate, Bohol to Cebu and Bohol to Leyte.
“We have to keep in mind that the vessels are serving the nautical highway and they serve passengers and cargoes,” he explained, adding that grounding fleetwide would be disadvantageous to other people.
The Philippine Navy identified the two persons killed in the incident as Carlota Zena, 59, from Balino, Masbate and Erlinda Julbitario, 49, while four people remained missing.
The ship, carrying 64 passengers, including 22 crewmen, sank off Burias Island, Masbate around 5 a.m.
The vessel, commanded by Capt. Lando Mateo, also carried two buses, and one six-wheel truck on board.
Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Fabic, PN spokesperson, identified some of the survivors as Capt. Mateo Gregorio, KV Menendez, Meilven Plasa, Jode Cosido, John Vico, Charlie Baldos, Jomar Mobale, Brian Pero, Jolandi Reymond, Mulbert Codillo, Nobelito Gomez, Recto Topel, Noel Agbayani, Al Tamayo, Danilo Agbayani, Gilbert Bongon, Benjamin Binesal, and Domingo Tayoto.
They were brought to Aroroy Masbate Health Hospital.
The vessel reportedly left the port of Pio Duran in Albay about 2 a.m. bound to Aroroy, Masbate. (PNA)