Claims should not be on us: 2Go to Sitoy

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

SHIPPING company 2Go Group Inc., through their legal counsels, told Mayor Adelino Sitoy of Cordova, Cebu that they are not responsible for the oil spill that damaged the town’s marine life and that all claims should be directed to the owners of m/v Sulpicio Express Siete.

“As you will no doubt be aware, under the law, the owners of Sulpicio Express Siete are fully responsible for all the consequential damages that may arise as a result of the collision,” counsels Saben Loyola and Joseph Rebano stated in their letter to Sitoy. They said all claims should be directed to the owners of Sulpicio Express Siete.

Sitoy, in a demand letter, is asking for P126.855 million from the two shipping companies for the damage caused to the town’s mangroves and fishing communities by the oil spill that followed the collision of m/v St. Thomas Aquinas of 2Go Group Inc. and m/v Sulpicio Express Siete of Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corp. (formerly Sulpicio Lines Inc.) last Aug. 16, 2013.


“The cause of the collision and subsequent sinking of m/v St. Thomas Aquinas was entirely the fault of and entirely due to the negligence of the owners, officers and crew of m/v Sulpicio Express Siete,” read the letter of the 2Go counsels.

The counsels added that the sinking of m/v St. Thomas Aquinas was entirely beyond the control of 2Go Shipping crew and resulted in huge financial loses.

The firm’s counsels said that 2Go coordinated all its responses with the Cebu Province, Philippine Coast Guard, Department of Environment and Natural Resources and local government units concerned.

The company also contracted Malayan Towage and Salvage Corp. to remove the fuel inside the sunken ship as well as engaged the services of Genetron International in shoreline cleanup.

The lawyers said that the company also commissioned an expert on mangroves for advice on environmental aspects and specific handling of mangrove oil contamination.

Similarly, the management of Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corp. denied responsibility for the collision and oil spill as they urged Sitoy not to direct his claim on them.

But Sitoy, in earlier interview, said he is not concerned with who is at fault.

The mayor demanded compensation for environment damage or the protection and indemnity insurance coverage.

He gave the two shipping firms 30 days, upon receipt of the letters, to pay before he would decide to raise the matter in court. (OCP)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 02, 2014.

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