• Court rejects plea to dismiss charges in Rizal tragedy

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    The Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) denied the motion to dismiss the lawsuits filed by students against Panda Coach Tours Inc., (PCTI) Harana Buses and Bestlink Colleges of the Philippines over the bus tragedy in Tanay, Rizal last February that resulted in 15 casualties and 40 injured.

    The defendant, PCTI, moved for the dismissal of the complaint on the ground that the plaintiffs failed to prove that they are indigent/pauper litigants, thus, not exempt from the payment of docket fees.

    However, according to the order of the RTC from presiding judge Rosa M. Samson, most of the parents and relatives of the victims of the bus tragedy are considered pauper litigants.

    “Hence, they are exempt from the payment of docket fees,” the order said.

    The defendant also noted that the complaint against them failed to indicate the amount of actual damages sought to be recovered, hence, must be dismissed.

    “The requirement that the amount sought to be recovered should be specified in the body of the complaint as well as in the prayer, is necessary only for the determination of the prescribed docket fee,” the Court order responded.

    The amount prayed for by the victims amounts to P1-million each, as stated in the order.

    “Even if the amount of actual damages was not indicated in the complaint, the other damages prayed for such as moral and exemplary damages were specified in the amount of P1-million each,” the order said.

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