Last June 21, tragedy befell this great ship and more than 800 of its passengers and crew members when the ship capsized several miles off the coast of Sibuyan, Romblon. As of June 26, only 32 survivors from the ill-fated vessels have been identified.
Sulpicio Lines, through the company's official website, gave this Public Announcement :
We have lost our good ship, MV Princess of the Stars, the crown jewel in our fleet, and some of our best crew. But more than these, we have lost valued passengers without whose patronage the company would not have been where it is today. Even as we grieve and continue to mourn the loss of priceless human lives, we must now match that grief with decisive action to directly address the plight of the victims and their loved ones to ease their suffering. Mindful, likewise, of the deep concern shown by our president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, for the victims and their families and her desire that their plight be alleviated by concrete actions, Sulpicio Lines, Inc. has decided to cast aside legal technicalities and waive the waiting period of one year within which missing passengers will be compensated. Instead, the legal heirs of ALL VICTIMS LISTED IN THE PASSENGER MANIFEST will be paid the amount of Two Hundred Thousand Pesos regardless of whether the bodies have been recovered or are still missing, and regardless of whether the bodies have been identified or not up to this time. We therefore invite the next of kin or legal heirs of every passenger-victim (casualties) listed in the PASSENGER MANIFEST to fill up A CLAIM FORM which can be obtained from our Manila office at Pier 12, North Harbor, Manila or from our Cebu office at Reclamation Area, Cebu City, and submit this to either office, together with the following supporting documents (original copy):
- Birth Certificate and Marriage Contract of victims;
- Birth Certificate and Marriage Contract of claimant/s;
- Valid cedula and government ID of the claimant/s;
- Voter’s ID of the victim and claimant/s (if available or deemed necessary);
- Affidavit of relationship of the claimant/s to the victim;
- Death Certificate (if available).
There is no need to hire the services of a lawyer because the claims will be acted upon with dispatch and with as simple documentation as possible. The PASSENGER MANIFEST is posted in conspicuous places at the office of Sulpicio Lines, Inc. in Manila and Cebu. Human life is so precious that no money value can be attached to it. But this is the least that we can do to show how deeply we commiserate with the victims of this unfortunate event, a tragedy that nobody wanted to happen, least of all Sulpicio Lines. We would like to thank the NGOs, the PNRC, DSWD, DSWS, NDCC, NBI, DOTC and Marina, LGUs most especially the Cebu City Government, PN divers, PN, PNP and AFP, US Navy, Philippine Coast Guard auxiliary and most especially the Philippine Coast Guard for their invaluable assistance. This announcement shall not be construed as an admission of liability on the part of Sulpicio Lines, Inc.
May the Almighty God bless us all.
Indeed, considering the recent disasters and calamities reported all over the globe, may the Divine Almighty bless us all.