Cebu gov’t to help Ormoc sea tragedy victims file cases

Dale G. Israel
Cebu gov’t to help Ormoc sea tragedy victims file cases
Cebu board members are asking investigators to look into survivors' accounts that they were not given life vests

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The provincial government of Cebu will assist victims of the Ormoc sea tragedy and their families in filing cases against those responsible for the capsizing of the vessel on July 2, killing at least 61 persons.

Of the confirmed casualties, 45 were Cebuanos, the province’s disaster management office said. (READ: LIST: Casualties in the Ormoc sea tragedy)

Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III said once the investigation by the authorities are completed, the provincial government will assist the families in looking for lawyers to file cases against those responsible for the tragedy.

On Friday, the police filed murder charges against the owner and crew of Kim Nirvana ship in Ormoc City, regional police chief Asher Dolina said.

In Cebu, the capitol will provide undetermined amount of burial and financial assistance to the Cebuano victims of the sea tragedy. 

On Monday morning, Davide flew to the island town of Pilar in the Camotes islands to visit the families of victims. He distributed food packs at the wake held inside the sports complex of Pilar town.

On Sunday, Cebu disaster management chief Baltazar Tribunalo supervised the transport of the bodies of the Cebuano victims from Ormoc in Leyte province to their hometowns in Camotes.

Thirty-six bodies arrived in Pilar town, while 7 were brought to Tudela . Two bodies were brought to Poro and San Fransisco towns.

The Cebu Provincial Board unanimously approved a resolution on Monday, expressing their “condolences and sense of sorrow” for families of the victims in the Ormoc sea tragedy.

Most of those who died were from the municipalities of Pilar, Tudela, Poro, and San Fransisco, which form part of the Camotes Group of Islands in Cebu province.

The board members are also asking the investigators to look into the account the survivors that passengers were not given life jackets.

“In this kind of death that our fellow Cebuanos met, the struggle to survive…must have been unspeakably horrible, and, in the light of survivor accounts that they were not given life vests, this tragedy is a ghastly and condemnable felony,” read the resolution authored by Vice Governor Agnes Magpale and provincial board members Jude Durano Sybico and Miguel Antonio Magpale.

The 3 officials are from 5th district of Cebu province, which includ the Camotes Group of Islands.


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