MARINA probes staff over MT Princess Empress incident

MANILA – The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) is investigating several staff members for possible administrative liability regarding the incident involving the MT Princess Empress, based on the fact-finding team’s report.

The report was forwarded to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the MARINA Anti-Graft and Corruption Committee.

This came after the revocation by MARINA - National Capital Region of the Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) of RDC Reield Marine Services, Inc. (RDC), the shipping company that owns and operates the MT Princess Empress, the tanker that has caused a massive oil spill in Oriental Mindoro and nearby areas.

During a media briefing on Friday, MARINA spokesperson and Legal Service Director Sharon Aledo said the maritime authority is in the process of investigating personnel for alleged administrative violations in the issuance of related statutory certificates to MT Princess Empress.

“We will look into the alleged violations, pagdating po doon sa naging construction niya hanggang sa issuance po ng statutory certificates (from the construction to the issuance of statutory certificates), including registration and safety certificates and it will follow a process,” Aledo said.

The agency added that if RDC fails to appeal within 15 days from the May 11 revocation, the decision becomes final and immediately executory, which means “magiging final po ‘yung revocation ng CPC (the CPC revocation becomes final),” she said.

The shipping company still cannot operate as the cease-and-desist order is in effect, Aledo said, adding that aside from the CPC revocation, RDC would be slapped with a PHP100,000 fine once the decision is final and executory, for operating without the necessary authority.

The MARINA investigation complies with Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista’s directive of accountability, with the DOTr’s policy of zero tolerance for shortcuts, official negligence, and disregard of rules. (PNA)