House to conduct hearing on oil spill

September 15, 2006

By Maricel V. Cruz, Reporter
Manila Times

THE House of Representatives will launch its own investigation to determine if the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) or the Coast Guard could be held accountable for the sinking of the Solar 1 in Guimaras Strait last month.

The congressional probe comes after the Special Board of Marine Inquiry pointed to overloading, bad weather and an incompetent ship captain as the factors that led to the sinking of the tanker. Oil escaping from the sunken ship has triggered the country’s worst environmental disaster.

“Congress will conduct an investigation and determine the liability of the Coast Guard and other concerned maritime agencies knowing that the major culprits in sea disasters and accidents are overloaded vessels,” Rep. Emmylou “Lala” Talino-Santos of North Cotabato said in an interview Friday.

At the same time, Talino-Santos, who heads the Committee on Public Information, said she wants to find out how the “personal findings” of a board member were leaked to the media.

Opposition Rep. Rolex Suplico of Iloilo demanded a revamp in the Marina and Coast Guard for apparent neglect in the Solar 1 disaster.

(For the full story, click House hearing, Sept. 16, 2006.)


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