MANILA — Partas Transportation will shoulder the medical expenses of its injured passengers and has offered to provide financial assistance to the families of the deceased jeepney passengers that figured in a road accident on Christmas Day in Agoo, La Union.
The bus firm said it still remains operational amid the preventive suspension order (PSO) that was issued by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) due to the incident.
“Rest assured that the company remains fully operational and we ask for patience from our valued patrons for any delays they may experience when availing of our transport services plying the route from Sampaloc, Manila to Pagudpod, Ilocos Norte and vice versa,” lawyer Joanne Lenny Mosquera, Partas legal counsel, said in a statement Thursday.
According to Mosquera, the bus unit of Partas was hit by an approaching jeepney that encroached on the bus lane upon review of their available records. She said despite stepping on the brakes, the bus driver had failed to prevent the collision.
The bus company is now conducting its own investigation into the matter and is gathering additional information and documents in cooperation with the LTFRB and other agencies.
“The company will extend its full cooperation in any investigation regarding this incident, which it itself has fallen to,” the Partas legal counsel said.
The LTFRB has issued a PSO for seven Partas bus units lasting for 30 days after the bus firm failed to submit footage of its dash camera that is vital in determining who is responsible for the accident.
Partas submitted the black box and SD card of its bus Wednesday to the LTFRB. However, the recording of the SD card needs to be converted to view the footages clearly, according to LTFRB board member Aileen Lizada.
The Board demands that Partas submits the actual footage of the incident as recorded by its dash camera.
Its regional office has also asked the assistance of the Agoo local government unit to provide CCTV footage of the place where the collision between the jeepney and Partas bus occurred, in compliance with the directive of the Office of the President to investigate the incident.
“We just spoke with DILG Usec. Catalino Cuy. Usec. Cuy will talk to the mayor of Agoo to release the footage to the LTFRB enforcer. The truth cannot wait a minute longer,” Lizada said in a text message to reporters Thursday afternoon.
Photos b y ERWIN BELEO and BOMBO RADYO La Union
The accident happened when a private jeepney collided with a Partas bus at around 3:30 a.m. along the national highway in Agoo, La Union, killing 20 people and injuring 26 others.
Initial investigation from the police showed that the jeepney, which was heading to the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaog at Manaoag town in Pangasinan, overtook another vehicle and collided with the northbound bus. Aerol John Pateña/PNA-northboundasia.com