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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

No Complaint No Case

I am very much disturbed and astounded that the driver of the bus that rummage through a row of houses in a creek in Quezon city, killing two kids in the process, walk away with merely a slap in the hand. Apparently, practicallity got the better of the kids' parents that instead of filing a formal complaint, settled amicably for 250k pesos. Of course I'm not in the position to judge the parents' decision. Anyway, given their circumstances in life, most of us may probably agree with them.

I'm not well-versed in our laws but common sense tells me that something is not right. I opine, although I maybe wrong, that this is a criminal case and not civil. It should have been "people of the Philippines versus that fucking negligent driver or bus company". Our imbecile state should pursue the case. The bus company or driver can compensate the victims which is actually an admission of liability and can be seen as a mitigating factor, but not to absolve anyone's screw up. The least that the state can do is investigate what went wrong. Doing so would prevent, or at least minimize, recurrence. If it’s the driver's fault, let him pay dearly by sending him to jail and barring him from driving. If it's the bus company's fault, be it poor maintenance or any of that stuff, slap them with crippling fine to set a precedent.

For all we know, that same bus driver will be back behind the steering wheel of the same bus company, or another, in no time at all!

This kind of accident is relatively a daily dose in our newspapers, something trivial specially if you are not related to anyone involved. I just refuse to treat it as another entry in the statistics. Shiver went down my spine when I saw the footage in TFC (The Filipino Channel). Hitherto, gory images of those kids pinned under the bus make me queasy. And being a parent myself, I can't help but grieve for those kids.