PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III ordered swift investigations in the road mishap in Benguet province that left 41 people dead.

“Faulty mechanical brake is a lame excuse. I want to know how thorough the inspections are done for all these transports,” Aquino said as he extended condolences to the victims of the tragic incident.

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Aquino tasked the Land Transportation Office and Highway Patrol Group to expedite the investigation and ensure that someone will be held liable.

He also ordered a study of the entire transport industry to find what the government could do to prevent similar incidents in the future.

He added that bus drivers should undergo reevaluation of driving skills to prevent accidents on roads.

He noted that there has been lack of adherence to standards in road construction that lead to several bus incidents in the country.

Only nine out of 50 passengers of Eso Nice Bus survived the incident last Wednesday as the bus fell into a 150-foot ravine on Naguilan Road in Benguet.

Aquino said he has talked to Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson to check the condition of all roads and highways in the country.

“We grieve for everybody who was lost. And we really want to find out how can this be minimized to the greatest extent possible,” the President said.

Human error

An official of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said the bus accident could be blamed on human error and mechanical failure and not on the road condition.

According to DPWH Undersecretary Romeo Momo, their ocular inspection showed that there were only skid marks in the high elevation of the road which could indicate that the driver did not step on the breaks while the bus was descending.

He added that “human error” is blamed for the accident when the driver lost control on the vehicle caused by its faulty brakes.

“The bus destroyed the concrete railings and plunged into the ravine because the driver was not able to stop the vehicle since the brakes were failing,” Momo said.

He added that based on its findings at the accident site, there is nothing wrong with the road.

The DPWH official noted that the place of the incident “is not accident prone and they have also placed safety measures signages along the road such as one-foot high concrete railings along the dangerous curves."

With this, the DPWH already submitted its report about the road accident to the President Management Staff for further study.(Jill Beltran/FP/Sunnex)