I am horrendously appalled. I am sickened to the stomach. I am almost at a loss for words. These, after hearing the news that pesticides have been discovered in the ill-fated M/V Princess of the Stars of Sulpicio Lines, which sank last week at the height of typhoon Frank.
Simply, it is the height of irresponsibility on the part of Sulpicio Lines to have failed (neglected?) in informing the government of the presence of ten metric tons of Endosulfan in the ship. What were the bigwigs of Sulpicio Lines thinking? For aside from the hundreds of lives that they have yet to be accountable for, they put more lives in peril — those of the rescuers, who have been working full swing, not knowing the real dangers they are exposing themselves to. How many more people must die just so that a company can save face?
It almost obvious at this point that the shipping company had no intentions of declaring the presence of the shipment. For if the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority had not spoken up, then how would the government and the rescuers know of the dangerous shipment. Shouldn’t have this shipment be the the first thing that Sulpicio Lines told the government as early as Saturday?
A prosecution is truly in order, and government must ensure that swift justice is applied. Not just that, Sulpicio Lines’ permits to operate, as well as its other negligent counterparts should be reviewed.
Is such shipment really prohibited in such passenger ships, as authorities ask? It should be. If it isn’t, the government better find out now, instead of just asking the question to the media. Let’s pray that the containers have not leaked and contaminated the rescuers. The government should act very fast to prevent a repeat of the Guimaras oil spill that happened in 2006.
While Del Monte Philippines, the owner of the pesticides, says it was not aware that their pesticides were carried on the wrong vessel, it will need to show real proof through documents that the pesticides were not supposed to be on the M/V Princess of the Stars. It is also not enough for Del Monte to tell the public through the media that it is a “responsible” company. After all, actions speak louder than words. Let’s see.
And again, why is it that the Philippine Coast Guard wasn’t aware of the cargo? Who should have jurisdiction over this?
I also find sickening that Sulpicio Lines is now blaming PAGASA for the disaster. We certainly agree that PAGASA isn’t the best weather agency in the world. But even a high school student knows that even with the best equipment, typhoons can easily change direction, and that it would be too late for any weather agency to warn the ships. But aside from this, did Sulpicio Lines rely too much on the governments transportation guidelines? They have been in business long enough and they’re supposed to have common sense on such things, at the very least.
The public is not seeing enough action from Sulpicio Lines. Instead, it has gone on a spree, blaming everyone it could. And not surprisingly, it is again blaming force majeur — the kind of behavior that has no place in business, nor in civilized society.