Families of the 14 missing Filipinos aboard the F/V Liberty 5 fishing boat, which sank after colliding with Hong Kong-flagged MV Vienna Wood cargo ship, call on the government for better coordination and communication, saying that their only method to get updates on the search and retrieval operation is through social media.
“We have actually not received any official updates from the government yet. We are still waiting for the PCG [Philippine Coast Guard] itself to report to the office,” said Jaylene Booc, sister of one of the missing crewmen. She revealed that even Irma Fishing and Trading, the company who owns the boat, is not coordinating with them.
“We are hoping that the government pays us attention. For us, it’s not just a simple collision, because the lives of people are at stake,” Booc added. Relatives of the other crewmen also lamented the lack of information from the authorities.
“They’re not giving us updates. We’re not hearing anything from them in our group chat. The Coast Guard called me and I asked them a lot of questions…but they said they would soon give updates. They are not doing their job,” said Mabel Bautista, partner of one of the fishermen.
Booc also urged the government to exert more efforts to find the bodies of their loved ones. “They kept telling us that they would dive further into the seas, and they would hire private divers from other countries. But until now, they’re not doing anything. It’s all talk,” she said.
Meanwhile, the PCG has filed criminal charges against the company, master, and officers of Vienna Wood, officially accusing them of reckless imprudence over the incident last June 28 in Occidental Mindoro.