Bus crash survivors file P10-million civil complaint

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Lawyers Ariel Inton and Rolando Sibal filed charges against BestLink Colleges, Panda Coach Tours and Harana Tours for negligence and breach of contract.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) - Five survivors of the Tanay bus crash filed Tuesday a P10-million civil lawsuit against BestLink Colleges, Panda Coach Tours and Harana Tours for negligence and breach of contract.

Jerwin M. Abulag, Marisol Batacao, Irriz Ragua, Mark Daniel Literal, and Mark Carlo Barcelona demanded the three groups to pay P2 million each in moral and exemplary damages.

Parents of students said attendance to the field trip was mandatory to obtaining National Service Training Program credits.

Ariel Inton of the Lawyers for Commuters' Safety and Protection said Best Link Colleges will be held liable for faulty or negligent acts.

"Civil case 'to dahil 'yung driver ay patay na, so we could not file a criminal case against the driver," Inton explained.

[Translation: This is a civil case now since the driver is dead and we could not file a criminal case against him."]

Atty. Rolando Sibal, who is assisting the victims' families in the hearing of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, said BestLink is liable for the absence of a teacher in-charge of the trip.

"Marami nang desisyon ang Supreme Court diyan 'no, na pagka walang [parent], magiging liable yung teacher in-charge kasi magiging substitute parent sa mga teacher eh," Sibal said.

[Translation: Supreme Court has made many decisions on the matter. If there is no parent, the teacher-in-charge is liable since he becomes a substitute parent, for the teachers.]

Sibal said a petition was filed to allow complainants to litigate without docket fees since they are students who cannot pay the fees.

Pablo Pan, Bestlink Colleges prefect of discipline, said in a text message their management is looking into the matter.

Panda Coach Tours did not comment on the charges.

School forced students to sell AVON products?

Nineta Ragua, mother of a victim, claimed Bestlink asked students to sell beauty products in exchange for scholarships and grades.

"Unang pasok ng mga anak ko meron po silang binibigay sa amin papel na pipirmahan po namin para maging ano po kami, para makipag titinda kami ng Avon," Raguas said.

[Translation: On the first day of class they gave us a document to sign, so they could authorize us to sell Avon products.]

"Doon sa produkto na yon merong pong binabasihan na kung malakas ng benta nyo ho o kaya mahina nagkakaroon po sila ng ano sa eskwelahan nila na maibenta ng produkto nila…grade po," she added.

[Translation: With selling the products, the school bases it on sales-if sales are high or low, they have a deal with the school to sell the product in exchange for grades.]

Raguas' son had a leg injury.

Inton said they plan to get sworn statements from students.

CNN Philippines' Digital Producer Chad de Guzman and Researcher Ella Hermonio contributed to this report.