Iloilo sea tragedy: DOTr chief orders preventive suspension of Coast Guard, MARINA officials

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Three boats in the Iloilo strait capsized Saturday, leaving 31 dead.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 7) — Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade on Wednesday ordered the preventive suspension of Philippine Coast Guard and Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) officials in the wake of the Iloilo sea tragedy which left 31 dead.

Tugade had ordered the suspension of PCG station commanders in Iloilo and Guimaras, as well as the MARINA Regional Director for Western Visayas pending a probe into the incident.

Three boats in the Iloilo strait capsized Saturday, leaving 31 dead. Five remain missing according to Guimaras Vice Governor John Edward Gando.

Ships were allowed to sail given Saturday's bad weather, but the Coast Guard had said the Iloilo-Guimaras route is a "special area" and no one expected a squall to hit.

None of the boats were reported overloaded and all had life vests.