The latest in the series of Southern Star (Ceres)Â bus accidents last week spelled the warning to the management: shape up!
The Land Transportation Office in Tagbilaran will initiate the action that has been missed—reporting the last accident to theÂ Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)—just to go by the claim that the number of successive accidents in the past skipped the attention of the LTFRB because only one reached their end.
If the series accidents in the past failed to get the attention of the LTFRB, LTO-Tagbilaran Registrar Erwin Patalinghug will make sure the latest will be reported by doing it himself.
Patalinghug went his way to gather information about the accident and make sure the LTFRB will act on it.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan, for its part, said the police should do the reporting to the LTFRB about the accident, considering that of all the accidents that hugged the headlines involving a bus company, only one accident was reported.
The SP had also conducted an investigation in October last year on the series of accidents involving the Southern Star Bus Transit.
At around 1:10 p.m. on April 6, another unit of the Southern Star Bus Transit figured in an accident in Sitio Mahayahay, Barangay Buenasuerte in Pilar, hurting 11 passengers on a trip from Tagbilaran City to Ubay.
The driver identified as one Josielito Degamo Bajao, a 43-year-old resident of Barangay Villaflor, Carmen, was released from police custody on the reason that none of the victims had serious injury.
Among the passengers hurt were: Ana Leah Basilad, a native of Gusa, Cagayan de Oro City and presently residing in San Pascual, Ubay; Harvy Boiser, 27, hisÂ 25-year-old wife, Marphy, their sons Jun Mark Boiser, 5, and Marvy Joy Boiser, 6, and daughter, Mary Joy, 1—residents of Ubay.
The six sustained minor injuries and were rushed to a hospital in Ubay.
Seven others—Raquel Aquino, 48; Gloria Dezeto, 49; and Susan Quinlog, 37, from La Hacienda, Ubay; Esmera Sueto, 38, a resident of Candijay; and Ethel Curay, a 10-year-old Grade 4 pupil and resident of Bulilis, Ubay, did not sustain any injury.
Police identified the conductor as one Jhon Catil, a 29-year-old native of South Cotabato and presently residing in Garcia-Hernandez.
The Southern Star bus was placed under the custody of Pilar Police Station.
Initial investigation showed that the driver lost control on the wheels while maneuvering a blind curve in the area.
The driver allegedly lost control of the brake when they went off road to a sandy portion, causing the bus to swerve to the left side of the road and rammed against a Gmelina (gmelia arborea) tree while skidding to a slope.
It was only on March 22 or 15 days earlier since another Southern Star bus figured in an accident in Dimiao where two passengers were killed and 11 persons injuredâ€”including the driver.
In January last year, Southern Star buses figured in three accidents in one week.
The worst occurred at around 11 a.m. on January 9, 2015 wherein the Southern Star bus with body number 12016 ripped a 40-year-old woman with intestines sprawling on the road in Barangay Comambugan, Ubay.
Her legs dislocated and head almost cut off, the victim died on the spot.
The victim was driving a motorcycle along the national highway of the barangay on her way home to San Pascual, Ubay when a stray dog suddenly crossed.
The motorcycle swerved after hitting the dog and the speeding Southern Star passenger bus heading for Alicia town behind her tried to overtake at the left side, but instead dragged her and the motorcycle several meters from the point of impact.
The bus driver surrendered to the Alicia police office station.
Southern Star passenger buses have been noted for overspeeding.
Another accident involving another unit of Southern Star Bus Transit was recorded on January 12 last year in the town of San Miguel where four were reported injured.
The bus en route to Talibon was driven by one Julieto Degamo, 56, married and a resident of Bagumbayan, Pilar.
Investigation showed that the tire rod-in of the bus malfunctioned when detached and slammed on the giant acacia trunk.
Among those injured in the accident was a 34-year-old seaman from Bool, Tagbilaran named Noel Pilayre. The others were Anna Rose Balio, 20, single of San Vicente, Dagohoy; Mayette Ricamadas, 26, single of Malitbog, Dagohoy; and Treistan Gabriel Ancog, 28, of La libertad, Carmen.
At around 7 a.m. the following day, January 13, another Southern Star bus heading for Tagbilaran City went off road straight to the rice field upon reaching barangay Cabacnitan, Bilar.
Its speed allegedly left the driver little time to adjust to emergency situations on the road.
Police identified the driver as one Julieto Julapong, 41, married and a resident of barangay Booy, Tagbilaran City.
The driver explained that he had to avoid the speeding motorcycle from the opposite direction, and the bridge was too narrow.
No one was hurt in the incident.
Early morning on September 11, 2014, another Southern Star bus figured in an accident on a bridge in Barangay Malitbog, Dagohoy.
TheÂ SouthernÂ StarÂ busÂ withÂ bodyÂ numberÂ 120-86Â wasÂ catchingÂ upÂ anotherÂ passengerÂ bus,Â CheÂ CheÂ liner,Â onÂ theÂ wayÂ toÂ TagbilaranÂ fromÂ Talibon.
TheÂ driverÂ ofÂ theÂ SouthernÂ StarÂ bus,Â RobertoÂ Tiaga,Â triedÂ toÂ reasonÂ outÂ thatÂ theÂ driverÂ ofÂ CheÂ CheÂ LinerÂ busÂ poisedÂ aÂ swerveÂ thatÂ madeÂ itÂ difficultÂ forÂ himÂ toÂ overtake–atÂ highÂ speed and so he lost controlÂ ofÂ theÂ wheelsÂ andÂ they skiddedÂ toÂ theÂ gutterÂ asÂ heÂ madeÂ eitherÂ aÂ suddenÂ turnÂ toÂ avoidÂ theÂ otherÂ busÂ aheadÂ orÂ toÂ makeÂ anÂ abruptÂ stop,Â heÂ couldnâ€™tÂ evenÂ tell.
AsÂ aÂ result,Â theÂ SouthernÂ StarÂ busÂ overturnedÂ thriceÂ andÂ draggedÂ upÂ toÂ 70Â meters.
AtÂ leastÂ 11Â passengersÂ wereÂ injuredÂ inÂ theÂ accident,Â includingÂ theÂ conductor.