AUTHORITIES on Tuesday filed several criminal complaints against the owner of Don Mariano Transit Corp. and the driver of the bus that plummeted from the Skyway on Monday, killing 18 people.
Louie Maralit, head of the traffic management security department of the Skyway O&M Corp., said charges of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide, multiple physical injuries and damage to properties were filed against the owner of the bus company and the driver
The charges were filed by the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) before the Parañaque Prosecutor’s Office.
Carmelo Calatcat, the bus driver, is still in the intensive care unit (ICU) of the Parañaque Doctors’ Hospital, along with bus passenger Rolando Valleros. Seven other passengers are also being treated there.
Another passenger, Lolita Rances, is in the ICU of the South Superhighway Medical Center.
The Skyway O&M Corp. management said Calatcat was doing more than 100 kilometers per hour (kph), well beyond the limit of 80kph for buses. Video footage showed that the bus skidded, then swerved before plummeting.
“Kita mo ‘yung time [through the CCTV]. The time and the distance traveled [can be computed]so you can have a fairly good idea ano’ng traveling speed ng sasakyan . . . and that is a little over 100kph,” Manuel Bonoan, president and chief executive officer of Skyway O&M Corp., said.
The bus was en route to Pacita Complex in Laguna, according to Maralit.
“Dirediretso ‘yan, nagpreno, nag-swerve sa kaliwa, then swerve sa kanan. And then lumundag dito sa ibabaw ng parapet,” Maralit said.
There have been at least two incidents of vehicles falling from the Skyway since 2006.
Edmund Reyes, director of the Toll Regulatory Board, said they will review the design of the Skyway.
“Ire-revisit po natin ‘yung design kung mayroong problema so tine-trace po natin ‘yung history ng kalsada pati ‘yung pag-maintain,” Reyes said.
At the same time, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) vowed to be on the lookout for possible attempts by Don Mariano Transport Corp., to re-register under a new name.
“Mamanmanan natin ito. Titingnan natin kung ito ay patago lang para matuloy ang operasyon,” LTFRB Chairman Winston Ginez said.
However, a relative of the bus conductor who died in the accident appealed to the public not to judge him.
According to Rosine Padios, who claimed to be girlfriend of the bus conductor, Calatcat and his bus conductor could have been tired.
She said that the two were supposed to go off duty at midnight but they had to work until dawn.
Unidentified bus drivers of Don Mariano Transit Corp. told a radio interview that they work up to 19 hours a day to reach their daily “boundary” of P12,500 so that they can have enough money to bring home to their families.
In Congress, a lawmaker proposed that a lifetime ban be imposed on erring drivers of public and private vehicles to curb fatal road accidents.
Rep. Elpidio Barzaga of Dasmariñas City, chairman of the House Committee on Games and Amusements, made the proposal following the Skyway accident.
“The Land Transportation Office should revoke the licenses of reckless drivers and implement a lifetime ban to discipline them. Somehow, this would force the drivers to be careful knowing that their livelihood is at stake,” Barzaga said.
“The LTFRB should cancel also all the franchises of erring bus companies to set an example and also protect the public. Otherwise, nothing will change. We need consistency here,” he added.
The Makabayan bloc of lawmakers filed a measure requiring fixed salaries for bus drivers or the Bus Drivers and Conductors Compensation Act of 2013.