"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

Globally-Affiliated Fil-Am Foundation Leads Health Initiative for Community

San Francisco West Bay Multi-Service Corporation, a leading non-profit 501(c)(3) foundation, has received a $49,040 grant from University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) for its "Healthy Neighborhoods, Healthy Lives" project. The project aims to increase community awareness among Filipinos living in San Francisco about the causes of being overweight and obese, and to encourage community-led solutions to the problem, such as improved access to recreational facilities and access to high quality food.

Rudy Asercion, West Bay Executive Director and Convenor of Global Filipino Nation (GFN), made the announcement, saying that: "The grant will enable the FilAm community to be on equal footing with mainstream America in addressing an important systemic health issue". GFN is an international association of global Filipinos, their families and onshore Filipinos committed to good governance. GFN has an initiative that addresses the health issues facing Filipinos in the Homeland.

Aimee Afable-Munsuz, PhD, UCSF research specialist in clinical pharmacy brought the program to the attention of the UCSF University Community Partnership Council. She has for several years been volunteering with the West Bay on breast cancer prevention issues, She had taken interest in West Bay's commitment to change in health, community strengthening and youth development.

Afable-Munsuz explained: "Our grant proposal grew out of West Bay's strengths in effecting change in the community, and my research interest, which is behavioral change. I am interested in lifestyle choices; I look at factors of disease that focus on physical activity, diet, and substance abuse." Importantly, she added: "The broad goal of our project is to understand the causes of disease, particularly overweight and obesity at the neighborhood level -- access to healthy food and recreational facilities -- and to promote community-led solutions based on what we learn."

Among the initiatives the grant from UCSF will support is the purchase of cameras for West Bay children to give them the opportunity to document what they believe to be the causes within their community of being overweight and obese. The project "Healthy Neighborhoods, Healthy Lives" will use "photo-voice" and participatory video film-making to investigate the neighborhood level causes of overweight and obesity among Filipinos living in the South of Market neighborhood of San Francisco. The ultimate goal of the project is to increase the community's capacity to identify their own culturally appropriate solutions to the problems of overweight and obesity.

Sent by Grace Cabactulan

Subscribe in a reader
Pedestrian Observer Group Blog
Click on the images to receive your free email updates

Trapos and Sulpicio Lines on to the usual deadly game

To continue that posting about Napoleana Gloria, she and her fat cows of an entourage will attempt a kind of cushion to brutal criticisms about their wasteful ways by making it appear that the junket abroad amid the deaths and sufferings of Filipinos occasioned by Frank was actually in line with official functions -- such as being a grand prelude to the opening of that controversial Terminal 3 at NAIA. There are also allegations that relief operations for Iloilo, among the hardest hit by the typhoon, had to wait until her highness' arrival so Nero-like she can luxuriate in claiming credit for it. IMAGE CAPTION: A newspaper makes the round in Cebu streets screaming about frustrations over the 'Star' sinking and an impending class action against shipowners.

But to be fair, this thieving administration should not be blamed for all the mishaps big and small that have been happening to our country. Take this recent tragedy of the MV Princess of the Stars, for example, which may have resulted in nearly a thousand dead or missing. We know that Sulpicio Lines has been into this deadly game for years -- buying dilapidated ships and insuring them heavily so that what may seem a tragedy for the rest of us actually means more profit to their business. Take for example the instant case, the company reportedly complied with the required passenger insurance that came up to about P 160 million.The costs of the ship, however, is reportedly insured for P 350 million, thus a big margin remains even if all the lives losts are paid fully.

Some said that the cycle continues with the acquisition of 'new' old ships to ply the Philippine seas as floating coffins. And so in 1987 the company's MV Dona Paz sunk with 4,000 people dead making it the most gruesome peacetime disaster. In 1988 the MV Dona Marilyn went down with at least 250 dead. Ten years later the MV Princess of the Orient went the same way with 150 dead. After each tragedy, there followed the usual cries for blood but as usual with our do nothing tongress people, nothing came out of it. Sulpicio Lines always came through unscathed, cleared of any criminal responsibility and richer and richer, profiting on our people's lives. Why, in the "Stars" case the company can't even be forced to refloat the vessel, necessary if only to remove its toxic cargo which prompted the suspension of rescue/recovery efforts.

Refloating would be easy under current circumstances, some experts said, but the shipping company will not do it because it will not be able to claim damages for a total wreck.

So some of our dishonorable legislators and other officials are now making noise about replacing these aging ships playing Russian roulette with peoples' lives. Fat chance of their being sincere about it.


For inquiries on the status of passengers Sulpicio Lines has uploaded the passenger manifest, updated list of survivors and crew list, send inquiries via email at sulpicio@sulpiciolines.com or call their Manila Hot line at (02) 242-4258, (02) 474-5205 (02) Cebu (032) 5162728 Mobile 09174228344, 09174228339

Related articles:

Subscribe in a reader
Pedestrian Observer Group Blog
Click on the images to receive your free email updates

Pacquiao Rules

Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao is now the best pound for pound fighter in the world in a violent brawl held at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada USA. A mismatch fight where former Olympian 135 lb. lightweight title holder David Diaz from Chicago took the beating all the way to 8 rounds and a fraction of the 9th round where a right blow sends him staggering followed with a left sending him face first on the mat. Referee Vic Draculich stop the fight on the 9th which should have been earlier had the Chicago based fighter not kept on fighting back. Pacquiao’s punches are just too fast for Diaz who thought he could handle it watching Pacquiao’s previous fights. Maybe it is a bad omen when Diaz ran away from the curse of the goat which Manny Pacquiao says was his favorite food patting the animal on the head with gusto. No there is no truth to the humor errr rumor that he said yummy upon seeing the goat.

Pacquiao is the first Asian and Filipino boxer to win 4 titles in four weight class that left David Diaz bloodied due to his tenacity at fighting back Pacquiao’s non-stop attacks. Diaz nose was cut late in the first round, his right eye on the 2nd round, then his lips, his left eye was bruised and battered.

In an interview, Freddie Roach was asked if he has other Filipino fighter in his stable that can match Manny Pacquiao he responded that Manny Pacquiao was a different type of fighter of a caliber that is one of a kind that you don’t encounters so often…. Indeed he is that one fighter that can excite the boxing world and hopefully he stays that way and stay away from distractions and makes his era a great one to remember. An era that is hopefully away from the wicked trapos (traditional politicians) using him as a trophy to flaunt as a distraction in their corrupt mal-administration.

Hopefully his handlers are smart enough and patriotic enough to advise Pacquiao to focus on appealing to the nation’s corrupt leaders to change their ways. Hopefully with his soaring popularity to newer heights does not give him an idea to once again enter politics but instead use his popularity in a fight where he can lead his people to victory in rejecting corruption as a way of life. Hopefully he stays clear and as far away from politicians like Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and he will be more appreciated........

See also Really Funny Parody at Pacquiao Pacland Forum

Subscribe in a reader
Pedestrian Observer Group Blog
Click on the images to receive your free email updates

Nigerian Scam Edna Fiedler Falls

As I access my yahoo account an article on Yahoo caught my attention titled, Woman Gets Two Years for Aiding Nigerian Internet Check Scam (PC World).

Yahoo, does that mean I will get a respite from this pesky Nigerian Email Scam some even use the name of Philippine deposed president Joseph Estrada's wife Luisa “Loi” Estrada with the usual spiel of I have so much money I need to laundry errr ok not exactly saying it literally but still the same message looking for a co-conspirator for a “fat” reward.

According to the report a Washington
woman named Edna Fiedler pleaded guilty to attempting to defraud U.S. citizens in a scheme known as Nigerian check scam also known as 419 scam. Sentenced to two years in prison and five years of supervised release is too light, I think she should get a stiffer penalty.

It is so amazing that this kind of scams are able to victimize people but then again greed coupled with gullibility makes it easy for scammers to get away with dumb scam that makes the victim an accomplish in a crime of money laundering if indeed it was true. Unfortunately there seems to be quite a few that are gullible enough in getting themselves victimized mostly naïve people and some old people that is normally targeted by junk mail scammers are now open season for Nigerian email scams. Ahhh the advent of technology surely brings along criminals with it lest they get irrelevant must also keep up with what technology has to offer.

I never figured out how they do it, fortunately we are learning from this conviction their modus operandi. So it appears that the Nigerians look for people willing to cash fake checks that looked like Wal-Mart money orders, Bank of America checks, U.S. Postal Service checks and American Express Traveler’s checks via e-mail. Using Fiedler as their facilitator in the operation she receives and directs those bogus checks to unsuspecting victims teaching them how to fill up the checks and cash them sending a considerable amount back to Fiedler or her accomplishes. Thinking they are helping someone in a bind they find themselves to be the one in a financial bind as they are then held liable for cashing fake checks honored by the banks for the full amount.

Fiedler sent out US$609,000 worth of phony checks and money orders, and an additional US$1.1million worth of fake checks was seized when the U.S. Secret Service conducted a search in her house.

Hopefully, with one scammer down I will have less spam email in my inbox……. maybe not because these pesky scam email even though I keep on marking them as spam they just keep on coming back with a vengeance, like three folds. Geez enough already, here enjoy this funny video on the Nigerian scam, it is just so amazing how gullible people easily fall for this quick buck scheme.....

Subscribe in a reader
Pedestrian Observer Group Blog
Click on the images to receive your free email updates

MV Princess of the Stars Tragedy & GMA’s Presidential Junket

Remember the Philippine military contingent sent by La Napoleona de la Gloria as her contribution to Mr. Bush war of terror errr on terror in the coalition of the willing in search of weapons of mass destruction? So puny in number that Jay Leno could not help but poke fun at them saying they broke the world’s record in the 500 meter dash retreat in scrambling out of Iraq........ all 51 of them fitting in one Humvee.

It seems that there are few Filipinos willing to be pawns this days and yet there seems to be an over abundance of leaders or think they are leaders with the full force Presidential invasion of America by La Gloria and her cohorts errrr party. They definitely outnumbered the retreating military contingent in Iraq with 10 cabinet officials some of them bringing along their wives and 5 to 10 staff members, 59 lower house representatives some with their wives too, 8 of them listed in the official delegation and of course the whole family of La Gloria and their alalays (assistants) including her grand children’s ninnies errr nannies led by the First Boor errr biik (pig) yikes I meant First Gentleman.

Speaking of the biik (pig) I did not know that Toto catches pigs by the sea as the picture below shows.Lechon

Ok, that is just lo lighten things up, going back to the junket while Filipinos are literally drowning with hundreds feared drowned to death from the sunken MV Princess of the Stars a floating mass grave of the sea run by Sulpicio Lines, Manay (big sister) errr Manoy (big brother) Maceda cites the presidential and tongress errr congress junket expenses in his article Modern Neros:

Junket expense. The US government through Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte gave $100,000 assistance for victims of Typhoon Frank. Big deal. GMA’s entourage must have spent more than $1,500,000 for this trip. The bill at the top-rated Willard Hotel must be about $250,000 with room rates ranging from $5,000 for suites to $300 a night for ordinary rooms. Counting 20 members of the official delegation and all the members of the Arroyo family, they must have occupied at least 30 rooms at that hotel. GMA hosted lunches and dinners there also. For the dinners for US lawmakers, that’s $300 or more per plate. At present higher fare rates, the PAL bill could reach $200,000 also. Depending on the kind of plane, the private jet used to fly GMA from Fresno, California to Washington could easily have cost $300,000. As in previous US visits, the Security, Malacañang media and DFA support groups would number between 200 to 250 persons. It is normal that the Consul Generals from US and Canadian cities would also be called to Washington. The big delegation also means a big amount to be spent for chauffeured vehicles hired to be used, at a rate of about $800 to $1,000 a day depending on the class of vehicle. Easily $150,000 would be spent for car hires for five days. At least $100,000 would be used for PR and media purposes. It is probable that GMA gave some pocket money to members of her delegation, including her PAL crew.

All these expenses just so Gloria Arroyo can have a good time being laugh at not laugh with George Bush as shown in this video posted by Manolo Quezon, a quote the Equalizer can't get enough of, which was also immediately picked up by Huffington Post linking the White House Text of the meeting and LA Times article. What is noteworthy here is her demeanor at the subtle stereotyping which she took like a typical subservient feudal subject of a colonial master, Ninotchka Rosca had a good piece on this which Angela posted titled Bushwhacking Gloria.

Congressmen are entitled to P1.2M in travel expenses which is scandalous and insensitive to say the least while the country is devastated in billions of pesos in damages to infrastructures and hundreds of lives loss with the remaining officials in a quandary where to get the funds for rehabilitation and aid to displaced citizens whose properties were washed away by the storm. While they enjoy the luxury with most of them semmingly scrambling to watch the Pacquiao-Diaz title fight in Las Vegas, the place to be seen for that Kodak moment. Insensitive full of themselves who are supposed to be the nation’s leaders having a good time while the relatives of the missing passengers of MV Princess of the Stars are grieving and angry over the handling of their love ones buried unceremoniously in localities where they drifted for lack of funds. As if this is not enough in rubbing salt to injury Sulpicio Lines are too slow or never even bother to return calls from local officials to take care of the cadavers found in their area thus depleting whatever meager resources they have in dealing with their own disasters.

It is sad that Sulpicio Lines upper management are not doing a very efficient job in consoling the relatives of the missing feared dead passengers and crew members but their demeanor only shows the company's mindset of insensitivity and crassness as pointed out by Ricky Carandang below:

During the press conference held by the company, the vice president Sally Buaron, who answered reporter’s questions kept referring to the loss of the ship and seemed more concerned about that than the hundreds of people who in all probability are dead.

I remember when one reporter was pressing her for more information about the fate of the vessel and the survivors, she said something like “If you are very concerned, so are we. That was our boat and it was expensive.”

Another reporter asked her if the company had quantified the cost of damage and she said something like “I don’t want to think about it. Sasama lang ang loob ko.”

Heck, if this is true something is terribly wrong with this woman, how can she utter such insensitive comments? But then again it comes as no surprise really judging by Sulpicio Lines' poor record and mishaps that shows their lack of respect for their paying customers as shown in this article at PCIJ. Here is Sally Buaron’s contact information, sally.buaron@sulpiciolines.com mobile number 0917-8322233 should you wish to get in touch with her.

Talk of compounding the problem, these people could use some lesson on customer service but in the land of cheats PR is nothing more but having ATM journalist on your side as shown below in this article:
Go, who arrived in Malacañang after the NDCC meeting, refused to answer when asked how much his company was allotting for the victims’ compensation. In an interview, he said each victim would get P200,000.

Pressed for answer, Go said the firm would first concentrate on the search and rescue operations.

Before answering the media’s questions, Go was in a huddle with Bautista (Transportation Undersecretary and task force head Maria Elena Bautista) and Coast Guard chief Wilfredo Tamayo.

When Go left and was pursued by the media, Bautista was overheard telling Tamayo that they should “help” Sulpicio because its officials were “not media savvy” and that “there were groups agitating the victims’ families.”

Hmmmmn, yeah they need help from veteran "media savvy" Malacañang people able to skirt the issue of their chief's questionable tenure all these times if the intent was to fool the people or is it? It is amazing how Gloria Arroyo's people seem to be more concerned with Sulpicio Lines despite disclosing that they still use old outdated circular on ship movements that only shows their incompetence at the risk of passengers lives and safety. Compounding the problem even more as if the tragic loss of hundreds of lives is of no concern they are still selling tickets despite government ban is just beyond comprehension.

Indeed, Tet Gambito is right when he says Sea tragedies bring the clowns to town with politicians doing all the clowning where nothing really concrete is achieved and maritime accidents of this magnitude or bigger tragedies comes hitting us again and again. The sad thing is nothing of significance has been achieved even from the liemakers errr lawmakers probes supposedly "in aid of legislation," wherein no law was passed but just passing of bad air. Those conducting the probes including those recommending a probe are themselves should be the subject and are the subject of litigation, to quote:
There might be something to this angle if we revisit the BMI’s failure to accept the MARINA report in a previous investigation. Such bias caused the filing of a case of graft and corruption with the Ombudsman on July 21, 2004 against Sec. of Justice Raul Gonzales, Sec. Leadro Mendoza of the Dept of Transportation and Communications , and Captain Manzano for “changing the facts” – a criminal act punishable under the Art.171 of the Revised Penal Code, aside from Art.183 and Art.184 of the same Code. And, you guessed it right, that case has been sleeping the sleep of the dead since it was filed by Atty. Fatimah Remedios Balbin.
This is all about respect, respecting people as your equal and until they see the problem at the receiving end of the corruption and greed it will still be the same. Sulpicio Lines is now trying to weasel their way out by blaming PAGASA (weather station) for incompetence and the reason for the sinking of the ferry. The victims relatives should not let Sulpicio Lines get away with their crimes, I say sue them for criminal and civil liabilities.

If only Bush was paying attention the weapons of mass destruction is really not in Iraq but right in front of him...... those who paid him a visit are the very people responsible for the endemic corruption that kills and maims thousands of lives in the Philippines.

For inquiries on the status of passengers Sulpicio Lines has uploaded the passenger manifest, updated list of survivors and crew list, send inquiries via email at sulpicio@sulpiciolines.com or call their Manila Hot line at (02) 242-4258, (02) 474-5205 (02) Cebu (032) 5162728 Mobile 09174228344, 09174228339

Related articles:

Subscribe in a reader
Pedestrian Observer Group Blog
Click on the images to receive your free email updates

Major Global Filipino Groups Unite

Global Filipino Nation (GFN) and Filipino United Network (FUN)-USA formalized an organizational unity that augurs positively for the future voice and influence of overseas Filipinos, their families and their onshore allies. Victor S. Barrios, GFN Convenor, and Philip S. Chua, MD, FUN-USA, made this joint announcement following the recent GFN conference in Makati on “Building the Global Filipino Nation for Good Governance”.

At its own initiative, FUN-USA joined GFN as a member organization and FUN-USA officers and members likewise joined as individual members. FUN-USA will initially focus its efforts as GFN lead organization in promoting overseas voter registration and dual citizenship.

Barrios stated that: “We salute FUN-USA as an outstanding global Filipino organization whose leaders are imbued with a strong mission of moving the Philippines into the community of progressive nations”. Noting the commonality of basic elements, Barrios added: “There is a striking convergence in the goals of GFN and FUN-USA, focused, in the final analysis, on furthering good governance in the country.”

“The directional and activity linkages between the two organizations, especially in the promotion of good governance, bring out the strong element of unity that is emerging within the global Filipino community”, Chua emphasized. “We want everyone to rally behind GFN,” Chua asserted, “which I feel would be the great nucleus and leader for this movement.”

FUN-USA is a benevolent humanitarian organization and an advocacy group, composed of Filipino leaders overseas from various professions, including, among others, medicine and allied healthcare, law, business, engineering, architecture, arts and sciences, and socio-civic groups. The only requirement for membership is for all decent Filipinos, and non-Filipinos, who wish to join our crusade, to possess love of country (ours and theirs), the belief in the principle of justice, honesty and transparency in governance, and have the commitment to the fight against graft and corruption in government, to liberate the poorest of the poor who are drowning in the gutter of injustice and pervasive poverty.

The main goal of FUN-USA is to provide leadership, inspiration, and assistance from overseas to aid in the rebuilding and transformation of the Philippines and our people, by supporting programs that are essential and vital in nation building. The ultimate objective is to make poverty history and restore the pride and dignity of the Philippines and its citizens as a nation and as a people. Among others, FUN-USA innovated an initiative labeled as “A Dollar Moral Crusade Against Graft and Corruption,” which has captured the imagination of Filipinos around the world. (Website: FilipinoUNITEDnetwork.com Please direct all queries to scalpelpen@gmail.com)

GFN is an association of global Filipinos, their onshore families and Filipinos living in the Philippines with a global mindset – all focused on good governance in the Philippines. In particular, the goal of GFN is good governance in the Homeland, anchored on grassroots economic empowerment and resolution of issues relating to migrant workers and their families, and with the raised consciousness of a nation ready to march as one.

The GFN May Mega Conference in Makati produced concrete economic, social and political action programs or logical frameworks (logframes). These logframes were the result of many months up to a few years of stakeholder preparations before the actual conference. There are a total of 10 modules/interventions for which there are corresponding logframes. The logframes focus, among others, on the goal to be achieved, the quantifiable and time bound measurement of progress, the outcomes expected, the activities needed to bring about the outcomes, and the resources needed to carry out the activities.

GFN's convenors include all sectors of society, including business, academe, media, think tanks, professionals, urban grassroots, farmers, labor, NGOs, and others. Excluded are: traditional parties and traditional politicians; military rebels; and CCP-NPA. While GFN encourages and supports marginalized groups to coalesce to strengthen their voice in governance, GFN is non-partisan, i.e., it does not support or oppose any official/person or political party. (Website: globalfilipinonation.com Please direct all queries to

Subscribe in a reader
Pedestrian Observer Group Blog
Click on the images to receive your free email updates

MV Princess of the Stars turned Graveyard of the Seas

The catastrophe of the sinking of the MV Princess of the Stars the Graveyard of the Seas can easily be blamed on the devastating typhoon that hit the Philippines with all its fury judging from the destruction on its path. Is it really caused by the typhoon or something else?

It seems like it is seeing Xinhua News quoting the Philippine disaster-relief agency on the estimated damages caused by typhoon "Fengshen" in the country to P4.39 B (US$98M), infrastructure at P770 M (US$17.3), damage to elementary and high school buildings at P212 M (US$4.75M), and destruction to agricultural production at P3.3 B (US$749M) with about P2.884 B (US$671M) covers fisheries and crops in the central Panay Island.

While it may appear to be so what strike us most is that this tragedy can be avoided if only we are willing to admit that corruption plays a major role combined with the fatalistic “Bahala na” (a Filipino dimwitted attitude meaning whatever happens happen or if it’s meant to be it will happen) in a never ending disaster after another like a vicious cycle of misery that people are being subjected like disposable objects in assessing collateral damage. The sinking of the Princess of the Stars is not the first “accident” involving multiple deaths on inter-island ferries this is actually the 16th in the last 9 years for a total death toll of 6,000 and at the rate Gloria Macapagal Arroyo scolds her underlings acting like a circus side freak show for all its sound byte glory are nothing but shallow empty rhetoric until the next big one hit again. Is this a case of never learning our lessons? I doubt it and Gulf News editorial puts it succinctly below:

With each successive catastrophe, the authorities have wrung their hands and declared that henceforth laws are going to be toughened and existing regulations rigorously enforced. But still the sinking and loss of lives have continued. The response of President Gloria Arroyo to the news of this tragedy yesterday was one of anger. She demanded to know why the vessel had been allowed to sail when a typhoon was close by. She blamed the Coast Guard and civil defense authorities and said that she wanted answers. These made good sound bites, but in truth Arroyo already knows many of the answers. The ferry system in her country is poorly regulated, poorly equipped and, on occasions, poorly run. This is in part because of the limited profits to be made from carrying tens of thousands of people to and from some 7,100 islands.

The Philippines is a poor country but allowing its passenger ferry fleet to be run so badly is nonetheless inexcusable. Trying to apportion blame is not really the point. Successive presidential administrations have looked on while officials, through negligence or bribery, have allowed basic rules on safety and seaworthiness to be flouted. Every time lives are lost in ferry accidents, inquiries are held, findings published and the authorities promise to be tougher — but still the tragedies occur.

Indeed, who are they fooling but then again greed and the privileges of power of those flourishing in the pathetic patronage politics in a semi-feudal society pretending to be rich and sophisticated will just not get it that corruption aside from stunting the development growth of the nation also kills and maim people while destroying the moral fabric of its people. Gulf news in ending the editorial with this damning statement which we doubt if ever this will be addressed:

The Philippines, sadly, does not have the distraction of rapid economic growth as an excuse. Instead these largely unnecessary deaths at sea tend to incriminate authorities who are too inept or corrupt to take proper care of their people.

Sad indeed that is truly depressing and revolting especially when accidents like these can be avoided. In a string of never ending disaster Belmont Club citing another catastrophic disaster on the tragic loss of 4,375 passengers of the overloaded ferry Doña Paz as the worst maritime disaster anywhere that no one seems to remember on December 20 1987 was of all things due to criminal negligence that only validates disregard for safety and respect for human lives. A disaster 3 times in the number of fatalities that dwarfed the sinking of RMS Titanic that shocked people no end was memorialized in stage, print and film and yet was almost immediately forgotten. The accident that caused 3 times the number of dead passengers crammed into the rusty asthmatic 2,215 ton ferry Doña Paz on that fateful night in Tablas Straits a collision with a small tanker with both crews criminally not paying attention because they are watching TV or drinking beer.

As if this is not revolting enough we read in the news “valiant efforts” to save the trapped passengers by torching a hole on the hull of MV Princess of the Stars which may not be exactly what was the intended result upon seeing orly_habari’s response at Anna’s Manila Baywatch article:

A morbid note on the search and rescue operation is the paucity of air search reports. The focus on efforts such as divers torching a hole in the hull to search for survivors is fatalistic. Only a few air pockets remain on a capsized vessel to allow survival. The torched hole becomes the entry point for search and retrieve, and a sardonic access for looting.

Oh well, if indeed it was an access for looting these are nothing but lowly tomb raiders of the sea rather than rescuers, if it is not god help those trapped passengers because that is the height of fatalistic incompetence. As if this is not the worse of the worse Dominique of Mt. Balatucan Monitor reports on how the relatives of the passengers are treated by Sulpicio Lines the owners of the MV Princess of the Stars with disrespect with guards drawing their guns on grieving and frantic relatives desperately wanting to know the fate of their beloved relatives.

The management of Sulpicio Lines flaunts a P200K (roughly US$4,500+) compensation to the victims but what they don’t tell us is that the compensation is likely to be limited since the company has no cover with the International Group of P&I Clubs and is not a signatory of the Athens Convention. Bottom line is profit and companies will cut cost wherever they can squeeze it at the expense of their passengers who they don’t respect anyway. Is it a wonder why the Philippines cannot get a big chunk of the tourist market, yeah like tourist are too dumb to gamble with their life sailing on a barely floating grave.

It is about time that we demand for accountability and hold the people responsible criminally liable for causing the untimely demise of our people….. it should not stop at the Sulpicio Lines but should start there and get all those responsible in the government too plus these grandstanding politicians that sets the corrupt standards of the nation.

For inquiries on the status of passengers Sulpicio Lines has uploaded the passenger manifest, updated list of survivors and crew list, send inquiries via email at sulpicio@sulpiciolines.com or call their Manila Hot line at (02) 242-4258, (02) 474-5205 (02) Cebu (032) 5162728 Mobile 09174228344, 09174228339

See also:

Subscribe in a reader
Pedestrian Observer Group Blog
Click on the images to receive your free email updates

Related Posts with Thumbnails