Thursday, July 3, 2008

Suing Sulpicio

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.
- Sulpicio Lines Announcement

I am normally in favor of compromises. I think it's best to avoid lawsuits because they're messy, and the contending parties usually end up being poorer after the long fight.

But this time, I'm making a big exception. To the kins of the MV Princess of the Stars tragedy: sue Sulpicio's ass!

A criminal conviction is highly unlikely. Officers of corporations in the Philippines seldom get convicted of criminal wrongdoing. A criminal conviction of the officers of a high-profile corporation is even rarer.

But a civil action for damages against the corporation can cripple them financially. A ruling in favor of the victims will not be hard to obtain, in my opinion. As a common carrier, Sulpicio is bound to exercise extraordinary diligence, which it obviously failed to do. There is already a presumption that it is at fault or has acted negligently, since scores of death and injury to passengers stare us right in the face.

Claiming the P200,000 and signing the quitclaim will end the fight against the (ir)responsible company. Sue the owners and ask for exorbitant damages. Hurt them where it will hurt them most - in their pockets.

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