MANILA (1st UPDATE) - The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Monday said it has decided to suspend all the buses of Don Mariano Transit Corp., whose unit figured in an accident in Skyway that left 18 people dead.
Speaking to dzMM, LTFRB chairman Winston Ginez said the 3-member LTFRB board decided to suspend the entire fleet of Don Mariano. He said the board usually suspends only the franchise of the fleet where the affected unit belongs, but due to the gravity of the accident, all the units of the company were ordered suspended for 30 days.
"Dahil sa past record nito, nag-desisyon kami na suspendihin pansamantala ng 30 araw ang prangkisa ng buong fleet ng Don Mariano… Dahil sa napakadami nang na-involve dito, buong fleet ang naging decision ng board," Ginez told dzMM.
"Boluntaryo namang ni-recall ng may ari ang kanilang sasakyan na nakalabas na. Pinababalik na sa garahe ngayong araw na ito."
Ginez said today's accident is not the first one for a unit of the bus company. Last July 4, 2012, a Don Mariano bus rammed the railings of EDSA-Ortigas flyover, leaving at least 5 wounded.
Ginez said this year, units of Don Mariano Transit Corp. got involved in at least two accidents.
The LTFRB chief said the bus driver, who was one of those injured, will also be subjected to an investigation.
"Kung mapatunayan na siya ay grossly negligent in the performance of his duty, pwede siyang magkaroon ng criminal libality. Ito ay ipu-pursuse ng mga victims. Ang may-ari naman ng saskayan, ang kanyang obligasyon ay bayran at kilalanin ang kanilang mga claims," he said.
All bus drivers of Don Mariano Transit are also ordered to undergo re-training. Ginez also ordered that the bus driver of the ill-fated bus be subjected to drug and alcohol tests.
The families of the fatalities would be receiving P75,000 each from the insurance company of Don Mariano Transit Corp., while those injured would receive P15,000 each, Ginez said.