Monday, March 26, 2018


Duterte orders Dimple Star bus franchise canceled President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the cancellation of the franchise of Dimple Star Transport three days after one of its buses plunged into a ravine in Sablayan town, Occidental Mindoro, killing 19 people and injuring 21 others.

Mr. Duterte’s directive to transportation officials came as the owners of the bus company surrendered to police authorities at Camp Crame on Friday night after learning that the President had ordered their arrest. Hilbert Napat and his wife Nilda turned themselves in to Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Director Roel Obusan and promised financial assistance to the families of the victims. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, in a statement, said Mr. Duterte also ordered the police and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to make sure that all buses transporting people to the provinces during the Lenten season were safe and had valid franchises and that their drivers were fit to drive.

The President inspected the crash site in Sablayan town, visited the wake of the victims and checked the injured last Friday. Roque said the President gave P20,000 to each family of the deceased and P10,000 plus a cell phone to every injured victim. Franchise cancellation He said that starting on Monday, the families of those who died would “directly be receiving P200,000 while those injured will receive P20,000” from the Passenger Accident Management and Insurance Agency. Mr. Duterte’s order canceling Dimple Star’s franchise superseded the LTFRB’s earlier issuance of a 30-day preventive suspension order that covered the company’s entire fleet of 118 buses. “In this regard, there will be a scheduled hearing on April 18 where the LTFRB will initiate the processing of the cancellation,” Roque said.

Dimple Star’s owners assured the President that they would cooperate with the investigation and fully compensate the victims. Obusan said they were still trying to determine if the Napats should be taken into custody. He added that he did not see—as of yet—any case that might be filed against the couple. Impoundment Police have already impounded 44 Dimple Star buses in Occidental Mindoro, according to Chief Supt. Emmanuel Luis Licup, police director of Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan (Mimaropa).

Even before the President ordered a crackdown against operators of “colorum” vehicles the LTFRB had already gone on a campaign to weed them out of the streets, said Transportation Undersecretary Tim Orbos. Data from the transport agency showed that from June 2016 to July 2017, a total of 618 colorum vehicles were apprehended—well over the 442 vehicles caught since 2014.

SOURCE : The Young Observer