MANILA — Victory Liner said Friday it would tighten security checks after two passengers were shot dead inside one of the company's buses in Nueva Ecija province this week.
"Yung ating seguridad po ay titriplehin natin...Safety and security po kasi ang talagang dalawang mantra ng Victory Liner at ito po yung kung bakit kami tumagal sa industry," Victory Liner corporate communications officer Ricky Rivera told TeleRadyo Serbisyo.
The victims, a 60-year old woman and her 55-year-old live-in partner, were repeatedly shot pointblank by two unidentified men while riding a bus in Barangay Minuli, Carranglan town.
The incident was captured by a dash cam and was uploaded on social media.
Rivera said the bus driver showed strong presence of mind when he drove the rest of his passengers to safety immediately after the shooting.
"Kahit na nagkaroon ng barilan doon, matagumpay po niyang naitawid yung iba pang pasahero sa safer place. Pansamantala pong natulala, pero yung kaniyang training nag-kick in…napaandar pa po niya yung behikulo. Siguro kung sa ibang driver yun, baka nag-panic na," he said.
Authorities are studying bringing back bus marshals after the shooting.
This is "a welcome development," Rivera said.
"Susunod po kami kung ano po yung mga rekomendasyon ng DOTr, ganoon na rin ng Philippine National Police, para mas maganda at mas maalwan sa ating mga kababayan itong darating na Christmas season…at maraming pauwi sa ating mga kababayan," he said.
However, the proposal could pose logistical problems, noted Provincial Bus Operators Association of the Philippines executive director Alex Yague.
"Kung 4,000 na bus na galing ng probinsya papuntang Manila, galing Norte pa lang ‘yan, 4,000 rin yung galing south papuntang Manila, logistics issue ‘yan. Open naman kami na kausapin ang PNP paano natin ma-implement ‘yan kasi para sa seguridad ng pasahero ‘yan," Yague said.
"Siguro ang kailangan paigtingin natin d’yan yung seguridad sa mga terminal ng mga bus, police visibility, siguro yung mga security guards, kailangan mag-check ng bagahe," he said in a separate TeleRadyo Serbisyo interview.