JV wants someone held accountable for MRT crash

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 14 2014 12:14 PM | Updated as of Aug 14 2014 08:14 PM

MANILA - Senator Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito said someone should be held accountable over the Metro Rail Transit train that derailed and crashed through a barrier at EDSA Pasay Taft station on Wednesday.

Ejercito also called on the Aquino administration to anticipate problems in the country’s transport systems.

“Bagamat kaibigan pa natin si Transportation Secretary (Jun Abaya), I hope this time somebody would be accountable [for] this. Hindi naman pwedeng lagi na lang may nangyayari, may mga mishaps, lagi na lang walang napaparusahan,” Ejercito told reporters.

“We should anticipate. Hindi naman dapat ang ating pamahalaan ay lagi na lang tayong reactive. Anong klaseng pamahalaan tayo? We should have the foresight. Palagay ko itong kulang ng administrasyong ‘to. Lagi na lang reactive.”

More then 30 people were injured after the MRT train overshot its track and crashed through a barrier at the Pasay Taft station Wednesday afternoon.

Initial investigation showed that the derailed train initially stalled between the Magallanes and Taft stations.

Following standard operating procedures, the train needed to be pushed by an oncoming train. The two trains’ link, however, was disconnected along the way. This caused the derailed train to go past the Taft platform.

The Light Rail Transit Authority said an investigation will look into the possibility that the incident was a result of mechanical failure or human error.

Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino, meanwhile, called for a probe into the issues affecting the MRT system amid fears that the incident on Wednesday afternoon may not be the worst that could happen.

"I am calling for an investigation on the accident to gather all the important stakeholders involved to talk about the issues that are surrounding the MRT system. This is the best avenue to collaboratively find the best solutions in the short-term and in the long-term," he said.

He said the incident yesterday should be addressed immediately to prevent future accidents from happening.

“It is unfortunate that an MRT train met an accident yesterday, injuring several passengers. We need to give the best possible assistance to the injured. Let us ensure that the accident would be addressed immediately so that no more passengers would be at risk and operations would normalize soon,” he said.

“Let us not wait for a major accident to happen before we address the long overdue problems - a more rigid inspection system, the rehabilitation, maintenance and replacement of parts of the trains and railway, and the like,” he added.