MANILA – All parties involved in the collision between Hong Kong-flagged merchant ship, MV Vienna Wood, and sunken fishing vessel (FV) Liberty 5 have reached a legal settlement on Monday.
In a statement, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said it has witnessed the formal settlement between the lawyers of Nomikos Transworld Maritime (owner of MV Vienna Wood), Irma Fishing and Trading Inc. (owner of FV Liberty 5), and the affected families in the sea collision.
The PCG, represented by its Commandant, Admiral George Ursabia Jr., and other PCG officials as formal witnesses to the settlement, said the lawyers involved decided not to disclose the exact settlement amount but assured that the compensation was “highly acceptable and satisfactory on the side of the victims”.
Ursabia said the final compensation was “very generous” to both the owner of the vessel and the affected families after Nomikos Transworld Maritime increased the amount of compensation from what was agreed upon last week.
“Alam naman natin na priceless ang buhay ng tao, pero hindi natin inaasahan na mangyayari ito (We know that lives are priceless, but this was unexpected). [MV] Vienna Wood was very generous to compensate the owner and the affected families na totoong kailangan ng (that were truly in need of) financial assistance. Sa halagang napagkasunduan (The agreed-upon amount), it will go a long way,” Ursabia said.
However, the PCG said that while it is “elated” over the settlement of the civil case, it will continue to pursue the criminal case filed against MV Vienna Wood, adding it will “respect the final decision of the court”.
It said Irma Fishing and Trading Inc. and the affected families were represented by lawyers Arnold Naval and Neil Marvin Genzola; while Nomikos Transworld Maritime was represented by Atty. Saben Loyola, Atty. Julius Yano, and Atty. Richard Sanchez.
On June 28, FV Liberty 5 capsized after its collision with MV Vienna Wood in the waters off Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro.
The 14 fishermen and other passengers aboard the fishing vessel have not been found. (PNA)