• LTFRB cancels franchise of Don Mariano Transit

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    The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board on Tuesday cancelled the permit of Don Marinao Transit, which figured in the December 16 accident that killed 21 people and injured 24 others.

    “With all the [pieces of evidence]submitted, gathered and discussed, there is no doubt that Don Mariano Transit Bus Corporation has repeatedly failed to comply with the terms and conditions of the CPCs [Certificate of Public Convenience] granted to it,” LTFRB Chairman Winston Ginez said.

    Don Mariano’s lawyer Jason Cantil said they will file a motion for reconsideration, saying that employees, including bus drivers, conductors and mechanics, will be deprived of their only source of income.

    Ginez said 78 buses are covered by the cancellation.

    “The franchise involving 78 units is hereby cancelled, revoked and reverted back to the State. The confiscation of the plates for hire of respondent Don Mariano Transit Corp. which was surrendered and already in the position of the LTFRB is hereby made permanent and upon the finality of this decision, said plates for hire are hereby ordered destroyed prior to their turnover to the Land Transportation Office,” Ginez said.

    The LTFRB probe also discovered several violations of the bus company, including the unauthorized transfer of chassis of buses to other vehicles without the permission of the LFTRB or the Land Transportation Office.

    Investigators, after a thorough check on the bus units, found deficiences in the buses owned by Don Mariano Transit Corp.

    “Based on reports submitted by LTO which was corroborated by the PNP-RHPU-NCR investigation show that six (6) tires (two in front and four at the rear) of the bus are already worn out and not safe in driving under bad climate condition,” the board’s findings said.

    Ginez assured tha public that Don Mariano Transit will never operate again due to a moratorium in issuing new franchises even if  the bus firm will change its name.

    Meanwhile, Bernie Arsiano, wife of one of the passengers, said it is not enough to cancel the franchise.  She vowed to file a separate case against the owners of the bus firm.

    Mercy Tolentino said that the P75,000 financial assistance was not enough in exchange for the life of her husband.

    She said the assistance was an insult to her family. JAIME R. PILAPIL

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