F/V Liberty 5 owner agrees to 40M settlement amid pending criminal charges

by Warren Ryan Revoltar

Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) commandant Admiral George Ursabia Jr. bared Thursday that both the stakeholders of the sunken F/V Liberty 5 and M/V Vienna Wood will hold a formal settlement for the damages caused by the sea collision on August 24.

This decision by the owner of the smaller vessel, who agreed to a P40 million settlement, came despite pending criminal charges filed against the foreign vessel and its crewmen for reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and damage to property. At the time of writing, the 14 fishermen who went missing after the collision remain missing.

“Kahapon andito po ang may-ari ng F/V Liberty 5, dito sa Coast Guard, para ibalita sa amin, nagkasundo na po sila sa may-ari ng M/V Vienna Wood na magkaroon na sila ng settlement for the damages incurred. The Irma Fishing and Trading Inc., the owner of F/V Liberty 5, will receive a settlement amount of P40 million from M/V Vienna Wood to cover the cost of the distressed fishing vessel,” Ursabia said.

On the other hand, the families of the missing fishermen will receive compensation amounting to P1 million each from the Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier. The settlement of the two parties will be hosted by the Coast Guard at the Coast Guard national headquarters in Manila, as per Ursabia.

Not one from the missing fishermen was found despite a series of rescue and retrieval missions.

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