Grisly collision

Update: LTFRB board member, Atty. Aileen Lizada, said the UV express had a franchise plying the Davao-Monkayo route. The board issued a resolution stopping for the meantime UV express trips to Davao del Norte, Agusan, Compostela Valley, among others.

THE PASSENGER van that collided with a cargo truck yesterday morning, leaving 10 people dead and 10 others injured in its wake, was found to be a “colorum” vehicle.

Colorum is a slang term used to describe a vehicle soliciting passengers without expressed authority from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

At the sidelines of the graduation ceremony of the Cafgu II held at Task Force Davao headquarters, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio directed Davao City Police Office director, Sr. Supt. Alexander Tagum, to personally oversee the filing of charges against the owner.

“The van, after an investigation, it turned out that it was a colorum and the owner has already been identified,” Carpio said.

“The City Mayor’s Office also committed to assist those who died and who are in the hospital,” she added.

The report said that there were 18 people inside the UV Express van, including the driver, Joey Alcazaren and his aide, Richard Maley. The driver of the cargo truck and his aide also sustained injuries.

The van owner was only identified as Abelardo S. Abelita, resident of Montevista, Compostela Valley.

Mayor Carpio also said she already discussed with the DCPO director on how to deal with the perennial problems relating to passenger vans. The police director was directed to coordinate with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Land Transportation Franchising Regulator Board (LTFRB).

She also said the LTO and the LTFRB “need to have a crackdown on illegally operating vehicles and terminals.”

Last year, a board member of the LTFRB asked Congress to look into the possibility of criminalizing colorum vehicles. Presently, illegal franchises only carry stiff fines, as well as impounding the vehicle, and only the LTFRB or the LTO can make arrests.

According to the report, the passenger van came from Monkayo, Compostela Valley while the cargo truck was on its way to Kapalong, Davao del Norte. The van driver tried to overtake another vehicle when he smashed head-on into the truck.

“Based on our assessment, the van was the one at fault because it encroached on the other lane,” Chief Insp. Estrello Ramiso, chief of Bunawan Police Precinct, told TIMES.

Nevertheless, the truck driver will also face a case of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and damage to properties, which is the standard operating procedure in vehicle collisions.

The 10 injured passengers were already brought to Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) while the 10 who died were brought to Rivera Funeral Parlor.

More speed guns?

When asked if the city plans on purchasing additional speed guns, the mayor revealed that traffic enforcers previously made a similar request for more equipment.

“I told them to give me statistics whether the use of speed guns has reduced the (number of) accidents and (cases of) overspeeding,” she said.

“This was the last thing that I have asked from them,” she said, adding that there are still vehicular incidents even with the imposition of the speed limit in the city.

She added that the use of speed gun doesn’t seem to address the problem. Meanwhile, her office received reports of traffic personnel using the gadget to extort money from motorists.