MANILA – The wife of activist-comedian Arvin "Tado" Jimenez shaved her head in front of the terminal of G.V. Florida Transport Inc. as a form of protest over the death of her husband in an accident involving one of its buses.
Lei Jimenez is lamenting the supposed lack of support from GV Florida after one of its buses fell off a ravine in Mt. Province last February 7, killing her husband and 14 others.
"If Tado were alive then he would have done the same to make his statement loud and clear. Tado has been an activist since our student days in PUP and he always made his political statement in a creative fashion," Lei was quoted by artist group Dakila as saying.
While Lei was having her head shaved, friends and supporters were chanting "Hustisya, hustisya sa biktima ng Florida."
"This unfortunate loss of so many lives was caused by the irresponsibility of the GV Florida Bus Lines and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB). They should be made accountable and justice should be served to the victims and their families," she said.
Lei also criticized the LTFRB for its supposed negligence in enforcing road safety.
"The whole system must be reformed. If this 'kabit' and 'kolorum' system continue and blatant multiple violations are tolerated, more lives will be put in danger. It is such an irony that Tado was killed by the system he has painstakingly tried to change," she said.
Dakila, which was co-founded by Tado, said the late comedian actively campaigned for road safety. The artist group added Tado had spent most of his life trying to change the "corrupt system that perpetuates poverty, injustice and oppression."
The group believes the death of Tado and other passengers would be pointless if no reforms will be made.
"Dakila vowed to rally behind Tado's family and those of the victims of the bus tragedy in their pursuit of justice and reforms in the transportation system," the group said.
After the protest, Lei and her supporters are expected to proceed to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for the hearing on the case scheduled at 9 a.m.
All of Florida's buses are currently under a 30-day preventive suspension. The driver of the ill-fated bus, Edgar Renon, is now detained at the Mt. Province District Jail. He was charged with reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and serious physical injuries.
LTFRB chairman Winston Ginez earlier said the bus firm and insurance consortium have agreed to put up the P150,000 for each of the families of the 15 fatalities.
Ginez said the money will be given to the families after the LTFRB hearing today.
He said P100,000 will come from G.V. Florida Transport Inc., while the remaining P50,000 will come from the insurance consortium, with UCPB General Insurance Co. Inc. as the lead insurance company.
Ginez said the P150,000 "is over and above any damage that the victims may still file against G.V. Florida Transport Inc."