Friday, September 01, 2006

MT Solar I Was a Japanese Junk

The the DOJ and the Special Board of Marine Inquiry investigating the Petron Oil Spill found that the owner of MT Solar I, Sunshine Maritime Development Corp., only had P5 million in capital. Thus, they expressed doubt as to whether the company could afford to buy a brand new oil tanker. Most likely, they suspect that the ill-fated MT Solar I was a "Japanese junk" (a suspicion which Senator Jamby Madrigal earlier expressed), meaning that the ship has been "handed down" to the Filipino company because it can no longer meet Japanese Maritime Safety Standards. The Marine Inquiry Board claimed that this might be the reason why the ship sank quickly on August 11 in the middle of a storm. Earlier, the ship captain Norberto Agudo admitted during the hearing that his certificate to operate lapsed in 2002 yet, including those of his four subordinates. See photo of the ill-fated MT Solar I (courtesy of TNT).






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