Let us pretend for a moment that Sulpicio Lines, Inc., owner of the M/V Princess of the Stars that sank off Sibuyan Island, Romblon during the height of Typhoon Frank’s mauling of the Philippines has absolutely no responsibility for the tragedy.
It was a freak weather phenomenon, after all, even CNN was caught with its pants down when the typhoon changed course and gained strength (a sudden population boom among butterflies in Brazil, probably.) Let us say that the Philippine Coast Guard and the PAGASA weather guys totally dropped the ball on this one and led the shipowners to believe that the voyage would be through calm seas and sunny skies.
For a minute, let us forget that this is the fourth Sulpicio Lines ferry to sink since 1987, and that they have always gotten off without anything that would even qualify as a slap on the wrist.
Even pretending all these things, Sulpicio Lines is still an asshole for transporting a highly-controlled pesticide without clearance from the Coast Guard, the Maritime Industry Authority, or, it seems, God, of whom, the shipping line claims, the sinking was an Act of. Sulpicio Lines is still an asshole for transporting a poisonous chemical, banned in about 10 countries, on a passenger ship instead of a cargo vessel as required by law.
Sulpicio Lines is still an asshole for not telling anyone about it, and hoping nobody would say anything. Sulpicio is still an asshole for coming up with the lamest defense ever: nobody asked, so they didn’t tell (coupled with the popular “everyone else is doing it, why can’t we?” routine.)
Sulpicio Lines is an asshole for putting the waters off Romblon potentially too dangerous to even swim in. Jesus Christ, there are not enough words to express how much of an asshole these guys are.
And that’s not even counting the close to hundreds of souls lost on board the Princess when it pressed on in the face of a howling typhoon because the guys at Sulpicio hadn’t read the memo that monitoring weather conditions, as well as the overall safety of the voyage, was the captain’s responsibility, and not PAGASA’s, the Coast Guard’s, nor God’s.
*no jokes today. just vitriol.