Saturday, February 25, 2012

Does SCTEx now mean "Stone Casting and Throwing Expressway"?

It may sound corny. But I am posing this query because we have been recently victimized in the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) by nefarious individuals who seemed to have no scruples if they harmed or hurt innocent people.

On the evening of 19 February 2012, my brother-in-law was driving our 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe and cruising at a speed of not more than 100kph along the SCTEx - coming from the South Clark Interchange and bound for the Subic Bay Freeport. With us were my wife and two kids. At about 8:45 to 9:00 in the evening of said date, while traversing the Floridablanca-Dinalupihan segment of the SCTEx, and as my brother-in-law slowed down to avoid some rocks scattered on the road, we suddenly heard a loud “bang!” from the right side part of the Santa Fe.

Owing to the isolation of the place, and as said portion of the SCTex was dark - there were no lampposts there - and in consideration of the safety and security of my family, we decided not to stop to check whatever it was that seemed to have hit the vehicle. The car behind us, was apparently hit, too - it even momentarily stopped and blinked its hazard lights. We proceeded instead to the Tipo toll plaza. Upon reaching the toll plaza, I alighted from the Santa Fe to see and check what caused the loud bang. I noticed an ugly depression on the top front, right side of the vehicle, still bearing a dusty, dirty white color, most likely, of the rock that hit it. By all indications, someone with malicious intentions threw a rock at it. Luckily, it did not hit the glass.

We told the toll collector and the guard on duty to report to their mobile patrol the incident and for the patrol to proceed to the said portion of SCTEx to deter further rock throwing by some evildoers who seemed to have no qualms destroying properties and/or harming innocent people. As it was getting late and our kids were tired, we couldn't wait for another mobile patrol to arrive in the toll plaza anymore, so we decided to head home.

Now, this incident was scary and dangerous especially for regular users of the SCTEx such as ourselves. Unfortunately, this was by no means an isolated incident, as another blogger previously reported the same. Please check:

To date, despite notice, we have yet to hear from SCTEx officials, including those of the BCDA's, on the steps they plan to undertake to address this serious concern, considering that this has been going on for years. 

(Disclosure: Our law office previously represented MNTC in a criminal case. However, public interest demands that it is not a sufficient justification to withhold reporting this incident.


  1. Good reflexes on the part of your brother-in-law and thank God you guys are safe.

    Until SCTEX officials resolve the lack of sufficient highway lamps, maybe it may be prudent to schedule daytime trips instead.

    Be safe, Pare

  2. Thanks 'pre. I agree with your comment. Here's BCDA Pres & CEO Arnel Casanova's reply via email, too: "...sorry for what happened. Am glad that no one got hurt.

    Will take action on this. Thanks."

  3. On 27 February 2012, I received this email from Mr. Ronaldo A. Pasco, Traffic Management, Safety and Security Head - SCTEX:

    ...I received your e-mail thru Ma'am Joy Orig regarding the incident last Feb. 19. First. i would like thank you for bringing this to our attention and to apologize for what transpired. Upon learning about the incident that night, our Traffic Control Rom dispatched mobile patrol vehicles to check the area. When they arrived, traces of stones were seen on both direction but possible perpetuators were not found. Our roadways security team then proceeded to the concerned barangay and reported the incident. Our Community Relations group are now continously coordinating with the barangay officials to ask their assistance and we are increasing our patrol visibiity in the area to prevent its recurrence.

    Again I apologize for any inconvenience that the incident brought to you and your family and rest assured we are doing all in our capacity to address your concern.

    1. Thanks for the kind reply,Officer. I can only hope that this problem will be effectively addressed soon to avoid further and more serious consequences. If it wouldn't be too much to ask, do let me know of those concrete measures. Regards.