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Duterte orders massive crackdown on colorum vehicles

The wreckage of the Dimple Star bus which figured in a road tragedy that left 19 dead and 21 wounded in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro last Tuesday lies just beside the Patrik bridge. President Duterte visited the accident site on March 23, 2018. PHOTO/Robinson Niñal Jr., presidential photo

(Updated, 7:50 p.m.) President Rodrigo Duterte ordered on Friday a nationwide crackdown on all colorum vehicles, including the arrest of its drivers and operators, after visiting the victims of the ill-fated Dimple Star Transport bus in Occidental Mindoro.

“So beginning tomorrow, all drivers will be arrested. I told the police, the highway patrol to find the operators and jail them also,” Duterte said in a speech at the 16th founding anniversary of the lumad group, Supreme Tribal Council for Peace and Development (STCPD).

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The President also threatened to shot, worse kill, the drivers and operators who will resist authorities making the arrest.

“If you resist arrest and the lives of the police were in danger, my order to them was to kill you,” Duterte added.

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He also ordered them to impound  these colorum vehicles.

Duterte said the arrest of drivers and operators of colorum vehicles was legal because they are violating laws.

“When a vehicle is not registered and uninsured and you park it in terminals [to fetch passengers], that’s fraud,” he said.

He also faulted law enforcers for turning a blind eye on colorum vehicles. The President also blamed politicians because they were afraid of losing elections when they get too harsh against colorum vehicles.

“The police is inutile if it can’t put a stop to the practice,” he said.

Duterte said in some instances, drivers involved in mishaps would not even be jailed because the case of reckless imprudence against them would be dismissed as it would eventually be declared “an accident.”

He said the days of colorum vehicles are now over.

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Duterte said the order was meant to curb the operation of colorum vehicles, which he said had often caused tragic road accidents.

He said he did not care even if transport operators and drivers would stage protest actions because of his order.

“I don’t care about… protest. I’ll give you one year to do so. I’ll just declare a one year vacation for everybody,” he said.

Duterte said it was now time the government proved itself and should be responsible in protecting the people.

“The deaths (from mishaps) should stop. My heart bled for the victims. They died because of these sons of b*tch*s even if it was not yet their time,” he said.

Duterte said he did not care about political setbacks from his decision.

“Nationwide, yes. Tapusin na natin itong problema na ito. Salot sa buhay natin (Let’s stop this kind of problem. This is a plague to our life),” Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go quoted Duterte as saying.

During his visit to the bus crash victims in Occidental Mindoro, Duterte ordered the arrest of the operator of the Dimple Star Bus Transport.

The President also visited the crash site in Sablayan town.

READ: Duterte orders arrest of Dimple Star bus operator

In a text message, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Martin Delgra said Duterte’s order was a crackdown on a”all types of colorum vehicles.”

“Hulihin lahat ng colorum nationwide [Round up all these colorum vehicles nationwide]. All types of colorum,” Delgra said of Duterte’s order.

The Dimple Star bus was headed to Manila on Wednesday when it clipped the side of the Patrick Bridge and crashed into a 15-meter-deep ravine in Sablayan town.

The accident claimed the lives of 19 people and injured 21 others. /jpv

READ: 19 dead, 21 hurt in Occidental Mindoro bus crash

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TAGS: Bong Go, colorum, crackdown, Dimple Star, duterte, Transportation
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