TOLEDO CITY, Cebu — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has suspended the franchise of five other buses owned by the same owner of the bus that figured in a road accident in Toledo City last Saturday, killing 15 passengers on board.
LTFRB 7 Director Benjamin Go told reporters that the one-month suspension order of the franchises of five other buses owned by Dulce Gantuangco has already been served Monday.
Go said he will also require the five buses to undergo a road worthiness test at the Motor Vehicle Inspection center of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) while its drivers will have to undergo driving proficiency and drug tests.
“We have served the suspension on all its fleet. It was a very gruesome incident. The admission of the driver that the vehicle's brakes malfunctioned is enough to suspend all other vehicles,” said Go.
Go will also ask the LTO to revoke “for life” the driver’s license of the bus driver Diosdado Requizo, 48.
“There is no need to conduct a hearing. His (Requizo) driver's license should be revoked. A license is a privilege, not a right. He is not worthy to hold a license,” Go said.
Go issued the directives Monday after the V&JA bus, owned by Gantuangco, lost its brakes while going downhill and rammed into a concrete fence near a school in Barangay Landing, Toledo City, late Saturday afternoon.
The incident killed 15 passengers, including four children, on the spot and injured 49 others, although driver Diosdado Requiso survived the accident with merely a scratch in the arm.
The LTFRB and the LTO are planning to conduct a random check on the roadworthiness of passenger buses in Cebu following the series of bus accidents in the province that have claimed over 40 lives within a month’s time.
Bus driver Requizo said he noticed that the brakes of the vehicle was no longer functioning while he was maneuvering a down hill past 5 p.m. on Saturday.
“I had no other choice. Instead of ramming into other vehicles directly on our way, I decided to ram the bus into the wall," Requizo told reporters.
Requizo, who was wearing a seatbelt, survived the accident with barely any injury. Most of the fatalities were seated on the right side of the vehicle. The bus hit an arch put up in preparation for a barangay fiesta, went on to crash into a wall then fell on its right side.
Last Saturday's accident occurred barely two weeks after a prime mover truck carrying two twenty-foot container vans lost its brakes and plowed through a crowd in Barangay Poog, also in Toledo City last June 21.