LRT driver faces raps over woman's suicide: police

Posted at 08/30/12 11:50 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The driver of an LRT train that ran over a woman who jumped to her death at the LRT Edsa Pasay station early Thursday morning could face criminal charges, police said.

The incident may have been a suicide, but the train driver is still facing charges of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide, according to  Police Officer 3 Rodolfo Suquina of the Pasay PNP criminal investigation division.

"Morally convinced na kami na suicide talaga gawa ng wala namang ibang sirkumstansiya na magbigay duda doon sa parte namin, maliban lamang doon sa issue na bumaba siya then lumuhod siya, then nasagasaan siya," Suquina said.

Atty. Hernando T. Cabrera,  LRTA Corporate Board secretary and spokesperson, told ABS-CBNNews.com that he does not know why police will charge the yet-to-be-identified driver.

"[I] am not really sure why. I understand dapat siya ma-subject sa proper investigation, pero kasuhan?" he said.

"It's not us filing any criminal case against the driver. In fact we can file case against anyone unduly going down the tracks," Cabrera said.

"I remember an article I read that in Japan, the family of anyone commiting suicide sa train system will be held for all financial losses," he said.

The woman who jumped in front of the LRT train has also yet to be named.

In a CCTV footage taken at the LRT station, the woman is seen slowly walking from the ticket booth to the platform.

One passenger even tried to help her.
In the next moments, after a security guard walked by her at the platform, the woman jumped to the tracks, as a train arrived.
Another CCTV camera shows that as the train approached the station, the woman jumped and then kneeled while holding the tracks.

Other passengers were taken by surprise.

"Pagtalon niya, wala siyang attempt to escape the situation. Ipinuwesto pa niya ang sarili to make sure tatamaan siya ng tren," Cabrera said.

Train operations from Vito Cruz station to Roosevelt, and from Roosevelt to Gil Puyat were suspended.

Nearly 200,000 passengers were affected because the incident happened during peak hours.

The LRT 1 operations returned to normal at past 9 a.m.

24 LRT-1 suicide cases since 1984

Twenty-four people, 19 of them women, have tried to kill themselves at LRT-1 stations since 1984, Cabrera said.

He said 10 of the suicide attempts were fatal.

"Statistics show that it was in 1998 that LRT1 had the most suicide incidents with 7 incidents, 5 of them fatal," he added.

"Hindi lahat ng suicide incidents sa LRT/MRT ay tumatalon sa riles, marami dito palabas ng station ang talon at sa kalye ang bagsak," he said.

The latest incident is the first suicide incident this year.

"Isa sa mga training at briefing sa mga guards natin na on the look out sa mga taong ganito na balisado, palinga-linga," Cabrera said. "Kasi dalawa yun eh, pwedeng terorista iyon o yun nga magpapakamatay. Pero sa dami ng tao limited din naman ang number natin, hindi natin agad makikita yon."

LRT management is considering putting up barriers on platforms, which will only open when a train has arrived.

This, however, will need funds.

"Problema natin budget dahil hindi ordinaryong harang ito. Naka-calibrate sa bukas ng pintuan ng tren," Cabrera said. - with reports from Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News; ANC