MANILA -- The Manila Regional Trial Court has cleared Sulpicio Lines owner Edgar Go of any liability over the sinking of the MV Princess of the Stars back in 2008.
In its decision, the court said that the prosecution failed to prove Go's liability for reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide, physical injuries, and damage to property.
Go was formerly Sulpicio Lines' First Vice-President for Administration and was accused of being involved in making the decision of whether or not a vessel should be allowed to set sail.
The MV Princess of the Stars capsized on June 21, 2008 off the coast of Sibuyan Island in Romblon after being battered by Typhoon Frank. At the time of her sinking, she was the largest ship in the Philippines.
Of her 860 listed passengers, only 52 survived; 312 bodies were recovered, while the rest were declared missing and presumed dead.
As it faced multiple charges related to the tragedy, Sulpicio Lines changed its name to Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corporation or PSACC.
Other PSACC ships have sunk in the past, including the 1987 MV Dona Paz. Her collision with the oil tanker Vector left more than 4,300 people dead and is considered the deadliest peacetime maritime disaster in history.
- With reports by Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News