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LTFRB suspends seven Partas buses

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) ordered on Tuesday the 30-day preventive suspension of seven bus units of Partas Bus following the bus company's failure to submit the dash cam footage and GPS tracking data of the bus involved in the deadly collision in Agoo, La Union.

LTFRB board member Atty. Aileen Lizada said Partas had until 12 noon to submit the data they required from the bus company. Partas, however, only submitted CCTV footage of the bus' interiors.

"The violation of Partas is for the failure to comply with the directive of the board considering 36 hours na po ang nakalampas since the road crash. Deadline was 12 noon today to submit the footage of the dash cam. That is very crucial to the investigation being conducted by the board," Lizada said.

"What Partas management submitted was the footage of the CCTV inside the bus. That will not help us resolve the road crash. What we need is the footage from the dash cam," she added.

The suspension covers Partas' Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte-Sampaloc, Manila route and will be effective starting Wednesday, December 27.

The suspension covers Partas' Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte-Sampaloc, Manila route.

Lizada said the seven units were only a portion of the total 29 franchises covering 187 buses of Partas.

Twenty pilgrims were killed Monday in a head-on bus-jeep collision while traveling to attend a Christmas Day Mass in Manaoag, Pangasinan. 

A jeep taking an extended family to a dawn church service crashed into a bus in the town of Agoo, 200 kilometers (125 miles) north of Manila.

Lizada said she received reports from Partas management that they has yet to recover the dash cam footage, saying the help of an IT expert is also needed for them to open the file.

Lizada said the LTFRB still has the final say on how long the preventive suspension will last.

"The preventive suspension order will be served tomorrow and it will be effective immediately upon receipt by Partas. Regarding if that will be a 30-day [preventive suspension order], when they will submit the dash cam footage, it will be upon the decision of the board. It is a collegial decision as to when to lift the PSO," she said.

Amid the holiday season, Lizada reminded passengers and operators of public utility vehicles to follow traffic rules and never rush to their destination.

"Accidents like this happen only for two reasons, the driver is in a hurry or the passenger pressures the driver to meet a schedule," Lizada said.

"In this fast-paced season of holiday shopping, outing and family reunions LTFRB would like to address this message, not only to the drivers, but also to the passengers of private or hired vehicles, do not rush your drivers. In fact constantly remind them to follow traffic rules and observe speed limits," she added.

Lizada also urged passengers of public utility vehicles to take a photo of the vehicle's license plate and report them to the LTFRB in case a driver refuses to heed their advise. —KG/KBK, GMA News