THE Court of Appeals has upheld the decision of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to revoke and cancel the franchise of Don Mariano Transit Corp.
“We hail the CA’s decision to deny Don Mariano Transit Corp.’s petition and have all their units remain grounded to prevent similar road accidents from happening in our roads,” Winston Ginez, LTFRB chairman, said in a statement.
A Don Mariano bus was involved in a road accident along the Alabang Skyway last December 13 that killed 21 passengers and injured 24 others.
The court dismissed outright the bus company’s petition for certiorari in relation to the LTFRB’s cancellation of its Certificates of Public Convenience on January 4 this year.
Don Mariano filed an appeal before the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), the mother agency of LTFRB, 30 days after receiving the Board’s decision to revoke and cancel its franchise.
The DOTC, as mandated by law, can deny or grant the appeal.
As stated in the court’s resolution, the present appeal of the bus company is clearly premature given the pendency of its appeal before the DOTC Secretary.
If the DOTC decision is adverse to the petitioner, the bus company cannot appeal directly to the Court of Appeals, and can only appeal to the Office of the President.
The Board revoked and reverted back to the State all the CPCs granted to Don Mariano’s 78 units together with all the rights and privileges attached due to its failure to comply with the terms and condition of its permit and negligence in providing safe and proper transport service to the riding public.
LTFRB and Land Transportation Office records also show that apart from the Skyway accident, Don Mariano was also involved in an incident on May 19, 2012, when a call center agent was stabbed inside one of its units with the bus driver or conductor not lifting a finger to aid the victim.
Another unit of the bus company figured in an accident along the EDSA-Ortigas flyover resulting in multiple physical injuries and damage to property on July 4, 2012. A month after this incident, another Don Mariano bus was involved in a road mishap resulting in the death of a motorcycle driver.