MANILA, Philippines – Dimple Star Bus operator Hilbert Napat appeared before the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Camp Crame on Friday evening, March 23, after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered his arrest.
Duterte gave the order after he inspected the crash site in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro on Friday. The fatal crash on Tuesday evening claimed at least 19 lives and left 21 others injured.
Earlier on Friday, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) suspended the entire fleet of Dimple Star Bus company.
Why he appeared: Napat "voluntarily" appeared before the CIDG. Obusan said his appearance will make investigations start earlier.
"Una, ako ay nagpapasalamat dahil voluntary silang pumunta dito sa CIDG at nang sa gayon ay napakaaga natin masimulan ang dapat natin gawin para ikatuwa ng mga nasaktan lalo na ng pamilya ng 19 na namatay," Obusan said.
(First, I am thankful because they voluntarily went here at the CIDG so that we will be able to start very early what we need to (investigate). This will be a relief to those injured, especially to the families of the 19 killed.)
Is there a criminal case? The CIDG confirmed that as of now, no criminal case has been charged against them.
"'Pag iisipan ko 'yan kapag nasimulan nating pagtagpi-tagpiin ang mga pangyayari. Pero definitely, ang batas ng law on common carriers at mga related na batas para dyan ay aming pagtutuunan ng pansin kung anuman ang violation," he said.
(I will still think about that once we are able to complete the timeline of events. But definitely, the law on common carriers and other related laws are those that we will focus on depending on the violation.)
But Obusan said they will start with the process and will see if there is a need to hold Napat in custody.
According to the Department of Transportation, Dimple Star was involved in at least 8 road crash incidents from 2011 to 2018, resulting in the deaths of more than 25 people and 134 others injured. – Rappler.com