Mayor Duterte backs filing of raps vs. driver, operator of wayward jeep; hits LTO, LTFRB

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/27 September) — City Hall will support the filing of criminal charges against  the driver and operator of the “uso-uso” jeepney that rammed against a softdrinks delivery truck on Friday, killing nine passengers and injuring others.

At the same time, Mayor Sara Duterte criticized the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for “not doing your job” and for approving the franchises of operators whose vehicles don’t even meet safety standards in the city.

“To the LTO and the LTFRB, get your acts together because every time you don’t do anything about violators, every time you sit on your chairs, people die every day because you’re not doing your job,” Duterte said.

She said the city will provide lawyers to the victims for the filing of damage claims against jeepney driver Joel Recopelacion and operator Rey Placible for the accident that killed nine people in Bago Aplaya in Talomo district on Friday, September 24.

The police are filing a case of reckless imprudence against the driver and operator, she said.

“The CSSDO (City Social Services and Development Office) and the City Legal (Office) will ensure that damages to the victims are paid for by Recopelacion and operator Rey Placible,” an irate mayor said during the flag raising rite at City Hall.

She announced that five traffic eagle squads are now on a 24-hour shift just to apprehend more violators in the city.

However, she sternly warned traffic enforcers to promptly produce results, or else, “heads will roll”.

“I want heads to roll, I want all violators apprehended, I want all erring drivers caught without excuses. Don’t let me spend on your gasoline 24 hours without bringing anything, kamo ang tanggalan og trabaho. Mo-retire mo sunod Lunes (You will lose your job. You will retire next Monday),” Duterte said

The mayor asked the city council to enact an ordinance banning drivers without identification cards and without plate number information prominently displayed inside their vehicles.

She also said the city needed another law prescribing maximum punishment for drunk driving.

“The safety of passengers and pedestrians is in the hands of the driver. No one should operate a vehicle without understanding this basic principle,” she said.

She questioned the LTO and the LTFRB for approving the licenses of operators of jeepneys with modified engines, which she said poses great hazards to the public.

The city government has opened a training program for drivers every Friday, after which they may be issued ID cards. (Germelina Lacorte/MindaNews)