The result of the investigation into the claims that the sunken MT Princess Empress was newly built will be released by mid or late this month, the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) said on Tuesday.
In a Palace briefing, Marina Administrator Hernani Fabia said the team needs to visit three locations–Sorsogon, Batangas and Metro Manila–to find out if it was indeed a newly constructed vessel built “from scratch.”
On March 16, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla said MT Princess Empress was not a brand new vessel, alleging that it was a “rebuilt scrap.”
Fabia said the team will also visit the shipyard that supposedly constructed the tanker.
There are still many pieces of information surrounding the claim that have yet to be verified, so it is important to gather all the necessary data and evidence before making any conclusions, he said.
The team’s findings are eagerly awaited as the investigation is seen as a critical step towards determining liability for the disaster, as well as preventing similar accidents in the future.
The MT Princess Empress sank off the coast of Naujan on February 28, causing a massive oil spill that has affected over 36,000 families in 163 barangays across the Mimaropa, Calabarzon, and Western Visayas regions.