Palace: Skyway mishap a reminder on extraordinary diligence

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Monday, December 16, 2013

MALACAÑANG said that the tragic bus accident early Monday morning should serve as a reminder to public transport operators and drivers of their duty to practice extraordinary diligence.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda assured the families of some 20 people who were killed and the survivors of the bus mishap that investigation has been ongoing and whoever would be responsible would be held accountable.

"I think tragedies like this fully serve to remind the common carriers that they have an obligation in transportation law, extraordinary diligence," he said, adding sanctions are imposed upon them if an accident occurs.

At least 22 people reportedly were killed and 20 others were injured when a Don Mariano Bus Transit fell from the elevated Skyway onto a van that was passing under the highway.

Lacierda expressed condolences to the families of those who died in the accident.

He also said that Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya has ordered the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to immediately suspend all 78 units of Don Mariano Transport Corp., operator of the bus that was figured in an accident at elevated Skyway.

During the 30-day suspension, Abaya asked LTFRB Chairman Winston Ginez to probe the drivers of the bus firm and have them undergo drug tests, he said, adding that the performance record of Don Mariano Transport would also be reviewed

Abaya also ordered Toll Regulatory Board executive director Edmund Reyes to review video footage of the Skyway accident and draw up measures to avoid a repeat of the bus fall from an elevated tollway.

Lacierda also said the owner of Don Mariano Transit had indicated she will comply with the directive.

But he also said the government is bound by law to follow due process before imposing harsher sanctions on the bus operator involved in the deadly accident.

"We are bound by law. There are processes involved which we have to follow," he said.

On the other hand, Lacierda said the Palace will emphasize to Abaya and Ginez to review the speed limits at major thoroughfares to avoid a repeat of the accident. (SDR/Sunnex)

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