By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang said that the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) can also be held liable over the recent bus accident in Occidental Mindoro if proven that the agency had lapses in performing its duty.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque raised the possibility following reports that the Dimple Star Bus unit plunged into a cliff in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro Tuesday evening may have had a brake failure.
According to Roque, if it is proven that government workers failed to do their responsibility, they will surely face consequences. But for now, Roque said that it is better to wait for the result of the investigation.
“Antayin muna natin kung ano talaga ang magiging resulta ng imbestigasyon. Kung ito po ay resulta ng kapabayaan ng mga taong gobyerno, siyempre po, meron na namang masisibak (Let us wait for the result of the investigation. If it is proven that the accident was a result of government lapses, then someone will surely get fired),” he said Thursday.
“Pero sa ngayon po, nagpaparating lang po kami ng pakikiramay sa mga pamilya ng mga nasawi. Darating po tayo sa punto na bibigyan natin ng katarungan ang mga nasawi (But for now, we extend our condolences to the families of the victims. We will come to the time where we will give justice for them),” he added.
Roque, before he started his Palace press briefing, offered a moment of silence for the 19 people who perished from the accident.
“The Palace expresses its deep sympathies with the victims, to their families and friends,” he said.
Meanwhile, Roque said that the Palace cannot stop LTFRB if it will serve as a bridge for the bus operator to settle with the families of the victims instead of convincing them to press charges.
Roque explained that settlements or compromise agreements for quasi-delict crimes like vehicular accidents and reckless imprudence are allowed by the law.
“Hindi po natin magagawa ‘yun kasi ina-allow talaga ng batas yan. At when the LTFRB acts as a bridge, eh doon din po papunta yun e. Maski magkasuhan, pupunta din po iyan sa settlement dahil nga allowed ang settlement sa mga quasi-crimes (We cannot stop the LTFRB because that is allowed by the law. It will also end up with a settlement even if they go to court because the law allows settlement for quasi-crimes),” he said.