From the Philippine Daily Inquirer, 6.24.08:
Ferry sinks; 700 missing.
Don't know the facts; don't know anything yet, or if any of the seven hundred (many of them children, as the report says, screaming inside the hull as it rolled over) are still alive.
But we all know what these ships are like; I remember riding one--won't mention the ship's name, or the line--and looking at the diagram outlining the location of the various exits.
It was in Japanese. The boat I was riding on used to be a Japanese passenger ship. And when I checked the date, it was over ten years old. In effect Japanese passenger lines, having fully depreciated their ships and instead of selling them off as junk, sell them to Filipino passenger lines instead, who use them at their own considerable risk.
That was some years back; don't know if it still happens, or if that vessel still plies the Southern Mindanao waters. But--if the ferry capsized because of any number of failed safety policies similar to the ones I saw when riding one of these floating deathtraps, then it's more than outrageous, it's criminally obscene.