Don Mariano appeal on franchise cancellation junked

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 19 2014 11:58 AM | Updated as of Feb 19 2014 07:58 PM

MANILA – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has dismissed the appeal of Don Mariano Transit to reverse a decision cancelling the bus firm's franchise after one of its units fell off the Skyway and left 21 people dead.

In its seven-page ruling, the LTFRB said the appeal lacked merit and was not enough to reverse the decision cancelling Don Mariano's certificates of public convenience covering 78 units.

The LTFRB cancelled the franchise of Don Mariano last January 14, the first time in history that the LTFRB permanently cancelled a franchise.

The LTFRB said there were many lapses and violations on the part of Don Marian Transit.

Immediately after the December 16 incident, the LTFRB issued a 30-day preventive suspension on Don Mariano's fleet.

The bus firm had claimed the unit involved in the fatal accident was roadworthy, but LTFRB chairman Winston Ginez begged to disagree.

Citing reports from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), Ginez said six tires (two in front, four at the rear) of the bus were already worn out and thus not safe in driving under bad weather conditions.

Ginez also cited the report of the PNP-Crime Laboratory Group that the chassis number (JALFVR34797000092) indicated on the registration records of said bus involved in the Skyway accident was not registered with the LTO.
The LTFRB noted only six units of Don Mariano’s fleet passed a roadworthiness inspection.

In its appeal, Don Mariano argued that the LTFRB denied the bus firm the right to due process when it cancelled its franchise. The bus firm also believes the cancellation penalty was too harsh.

Atty. Laida Isidro, a lawyer of the bus firm, earlier said all 34 victims in last December's accident have received compensation totaling P9.6 million.

Isidro added they have settled with families of the 21 people who died. - with a report from Henry Atuelan, dzMM