"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

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

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