Montealto suspends operation of minibus that figured in Sogod town accident
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The owner of the minibus that figured in a road accident in Sogod town in northern Cebu at dawn today, December 2, 2019, will have to prove that the negligence of their driver did not cause the accident.
Otherwise, San Sebastian Liner risk losing their right to operate said unit, says Director Eduardo Montealto Jr. of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Central Visayas (LTFRB-7).
Montealto said he already ordered the suspension of operation of the bus. The suspension order will stay until such time that San Sebastian Liner is able to prove that bus driver, Edgar Atendido, was not responsible for the accident.
San Sebastian Liner recently bought the unit from another bus company, but the transfer of the unit’s franchise under its new owner’s name have not been completed, Montelato told CDN Digital.
This early, Montealto said he could only suspect that Atendido may have been over speeding, the reason for the accident. He does not also discount the possibility that the bus was overloaded that’s why it fell on its side.
“Dili nako madawat nang nawalaan ng control or wala migana ang brake,” Montealto told CDN Digital.
(I cannot accept the explanation of the driver that he lost control or that the brakes were no longer functioning.)
At least 26 passengers were injured after the minibus owned by San Sebastian Liner fell on its side while traversing a portion of the national highway in Sitio Sandayong, Barangay Liki, Sogod, Cebu, past 2 a.m. today.
The accident happened after an hour’s travel or about 36 kilometers away from Bogo City, where it came from. The bus was transporting around 40 passengers to the North Bus Terminal in Mandaue City.
Montealto said that he is now waiting for the management of San Sebastian Liner to furnish his office with an incident report which they will review to determine why and how the accident happened.
The LTFRB-7 director said that he would also be asking for the presence of bus company owners at his office next week for a case hearing.
Montealto said that he will only order the lifting of the suspension of their operations if proven during their investigation that Atendido was not negligent during his Monday dawn trip.
Initial investigation by the Sogod police show that Atendido tried to overtake another bus that was travelling ahead of him. It was only then that he realized that his brakes had malfunctioned.
Police said that bus company owners already visited the Sogod Police Station to file an incident report and made an offer to take care of the medical expenses of the injured passengers. / dcb
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