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Cebu News

Davide thanks SBMI for Cebu hearings

AJ de la Torre - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide thanked the Special Board of Marine Inquiry for granting his request to hold hearings on the investigation of the recent sea mishap in Cebu instead of in Manila.

SBMI Chairman Commodore Gilbert Rueras earlier said they were in Cebu just to gather information.

But with the request of the local government they decided to hold the hearings in Cebu.

Davide said holding the proceedings in Cebu would be more convenient for those summoned to testify.

The SBMI is made up of officials from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Marina (MARINA).

SBMI hearing have been done since August 23 where they have invited crew members from both the sunken MV Saint Thomas Aquinas and MV Sulpicio Express Siete, the ship that collided with the passenger vessel.

Crew members from other ships that were reportedly in the area prior to the collision and also some passengers of the ships were also asked to testify before by the SBMI.

Even fishermen who first responded to help passengers after the collision and the harbor pilot on duty that day were also summoned.

Apart from the SBMI, the initial hearing by Marina on the collision took place at their office in Cebu City last August 28.

They initially planned to hold the hearing in Manila but decided to move it to Cebu because of Davide’s request.

The collision took place off Lawis Ledge in Talisay City Cebu two weeks ago that causing the death of 94 passengers and leaving 40 missing.

Around 733 passengers and crew members survived the sea mishap.

The sinking of the MV Saint Thomas Aquinas has affected the livelihood of the people in Cordova because of the oil spill.

Most of the rescued passengers have gone back to their hometowns in Mindanao while some are still billeted in hotels in Cebu or confined in hospitals.

The SBMI promised to soon come up with a recommendation based on the hearings they conducted which will be sent to the Board of Marine Inquiry and to the Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communication.   (FREEMAN)

 

BOARD OF MARINE INQUIRY

CEBU

CEBU CITY

CEBU GOV

CHAIRMAN COMMODORE GILBERT RUERAS

HILARIO DAVIDE

LAWIS LEDGE

PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD

SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS

SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATION

SPECIAL BOARD OF MARINE INQUIRY

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