President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the grant of financial assistance to the families of the victims of the Leomarick bus crash that killed at least 34 people in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija last April 18.
Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s spokesperson Aileen Lizada said the financial aid was worth P20,000 for each casualty and P10,000 for each of the injured.
At least 34 people, including the driver, were killed when the Leomarick bus traveling from Isabela to Ilocos Sur fell into a ravine in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija.
Authorities believe that overloading was the cause of the accident as the bus was carrying 77 persons when its capacity was only up to 45 passengers.
The LTFRB has ordered a 30-day preventive suspension against Leonardo Patulot, operator of Leomarick Bus Trans, which operates the Bangued, Abra to Ilagan, Isabela route and vice versa.
The operator was invited to appear in a hearing scheduled on May 2.
Failure to appear before the board on the scheduled hearing shall be considered a waiver on his part and the case will be subject to resolution, according to the LTFRB.
Senior Supt. Antonio Yarra, Nueva Ecija police director, said the LTFRB hearing, which would be held at the agency’s main office in Diliman, Quezon City, is the administrative aspect of the case the bus firm Leomarick Bus Trans is facing in connection with the tragic accident.
On April 24, police would be assisting the victims and their families in filing civil cases for damages at the Regional Trial Court in San Jose City, in this province with the help of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Nueva Ecija Chapter (IBP-NE), he said. Yarra said the police would help the victims in all stages of the case.
Meanwhile, the LTFRB, ordered Leomarick’s bus operator Leonardo Patulot to explain why his certificate of convenience (COC) should not be revoked.
Among the documents LBT was asked to present are: roadworthiness inspection to be conducted by the Land Transportation Office, road safety seminar of the drivers, compulsory drug testing of the drivers and conductors, LTO certificate of registration and officials receipt (latest OR-CR), video clippings of the roadworthiness, road safety seminar and drug testing; Installation of Global Navigation Satellite System, Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation and barangay clearances of all drivers, system of hiring and conductors (201 files) and proof of payment from its insurance company.
Yarra said investigators were still trying to determine the criminal liability of the bus operator since the driver, Rolando Mangaoang, who might have faced criminal negligence, died in the accident.
Mangaoang tested negative of illegal drugs, police said.
A urine sample taken from his body showed no traces of metamphetamine and THC-metabolites, both dangerous drugs based on the examination conducted by the Regional Crime Laboratory Office 1.
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