Press Release
January 5, 2010

Gordon secures lawyers for MV Baleno victims

Senator Richard J. Gordon today said that he has already secured lawyers for the victims of MV Baleno-9 to ensure that all their legal concerns would be given proper attention.

"May mga tumatawag sa akin na mga biktima, walang nag-aasikaso sa kanila. So I asked some friends to provide lawyers for them para may laban naman sila, at para makasiguro na at least makuha 'yung insurance, makuha 'yung ibabayad sa kanila," Gordon said in a media forum.

"I have talked to some lawyers who are willing to volunteer, some of them lawyers from Subic before. Nananawagan din ako sa ibang mga lawyers na gusto mag-volunteer, magsama-sama tayo para isang grupo lang ng lawyers ang hahawak," he added.

The senator noted that some of the victims are being offered small amounts, like in the case of Randy Peñaranda, brother of one of the victims, who was initially offered P10,000 as burial assistance. He sought the help of Gordon, who stressed that they should be given more than that. Peñaranda was then offered P200,000 but was asked to sign a quit claim.

"There should be no quit claim. I ask the help of media, the radio and TV stations, sabihin po sa mga tao na huwag pipirma ng quit claim kung hindi sapat talaga ang binayad sa kanila. Dapat ibigay sa inyo ang nararapat," the senator said.

"We are trying to provide the victims and their families the assistance we could offer them, because definitely they will have to file charges, not only criminal but also civil cases. I've already told the Red Cross to tell the victims and their families that we can provide legal assistance for them," Gordon added.

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