Tado’s widow has her hair shaved to protest death of husband
MANILA, Philippines–In protest to the untimely death in a bus crash of Arvin Jimenez, better known as comedian “Tado” who sported long hair, his widow shaved off her hair Wednesday in front of the terminal of GV Florida Transport Inc. in Sampaloc, Manila.
As Lei Jimenez’s locks of hair fell on the concrete, members of the artist group Dakila chanted “Hustisya sa biktima ng Florida (Justice to the victims of Florida)!”
Tado, an artist-activist who cofounded Dakila, was killed along with 14 others when the bus fell on a ravine on their way to Sagada, Mt. Province, on Feb. 7.
The call for justice was held on the day of the hearing set by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to give Florida time to justify why its franchise should not be canceled.
Lei kept silent throughout the protest action, after which the group left to attend the LTFRB hearing.
“If Tado were alive then he would have done the same to make his statement loud and clear. Tado had been an activist since our student days in PUP and he always made his political statement in a creative fashion,” Lei was quoted in a statement issued by Dakila.
She added that the tragic incident was not only caused by the “irresponsibility” of Florida Bus Lines and Mt. Province Cable Tours but also negligence in enforcing safety on the part of the LTFRB.
“If this ‘kabit’ and ‘kolorum’ systems continue and blatant multiple violations are tolerated, more lives will be put in danger,” Lei said.
The ill-fated Florida bus apparently had no license plate but it used the one issued to Mt. Province Cable Tours, according to news reports.
The artist group said Tado had campaigned for road safety as one of his many advocacies.
A meeting with families and friends of other victims and survivors of the crash is being arranged to discuss their next concrete action, the statement added.
Fr. Robert Reyes, the running priest known for his social and political activism, chanced upon the protest and offered a prayer.
“I was just on my way to the blessing of President Aquino’s housing project,” he told reporters. “Tado was a friend; I’ve met him in street actions.”
“I’ve also been fighting for the victims of tragedies like this, such as the MV Princess of the Stars of Sulpicio Lines,” Reyes added.
The Princess of the Stars sank off Sibuyan Island, Romblon, in 2008.
Last December, a Don Mariano Transit bus plying the southbound lane of Skyway fell and crashed into a van along the South Luzon Expressway in Parañaque City. Its franchise was subsequently canceled by the LTFRB.
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