Families of vessel sinking victims seek SC help
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - January 11, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Families of victims of the 2008 sinking of the M/V Princess of the Stars yesterday appealed to the Supreme Court (SC) to help resolve a civil case they filed against Sulpicio Lines Inc., the vessel’s operator.

In a petition filed through the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), the petitioners asked the high court to nullify a Court of Appeals (CA) order inhibiting Manila Regional Trial Court Judge Daniel Villanueva from the case.

In September last year, Villanueva ordered the shipping firm to pay P241 million in damages to the victim’s relatives, who sought P500 million.

The petitioners said the CA committed abuse of discretion when it ordered the inhibition as Villanueva has already ruled on the case with finality.

PAO chief Persida Rueda-Acosta said a judge’s inhibition from a case should be voluntary as provided under the Rules of Court.

Acosta said the CA should have dismissed the petition of Sulpicio Lines for failing to submit records required by the rules.

She said Villanueva did not commit any offense to warrant his inhibition, which she believed should have been considered moot and academic since the case has been decided.

The criminal case against the Sulpicio executives and officers is pending with the Manila RTC.

In October, the SC reversed a ruling of the appellate court clearing Sulpicio’s first vice president for administration Edgar Go in the case of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide.

The Princess of the Stars capsized on June 21, 2008 off Sibuyan Island in Romblon.

CASE COURT OF APPEALS EDGAR GO IN OCTOBER IN SEPTEMBER MANILA REGIONAL TRIAL COURT JUDGE DANIEL VILLANUEVA PERSIDA RUEDA-ACOSTA PRINCESS OF THE STARS PUBLIC ATTORNEY RULES OF COURT VILLANUEVA
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