Road crash shatters family’s dreamBy Armand Galang
Inquirer Central Luzon
SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ—Evangeline Pajarillo prepared herself for a trip to Metro Manila early Wednesday with high hopes for a better future for her and her family.
She was to undergo a predeparture orientation seminar for her job application in Singapore when the motorcycle driven by her husband, Leoncio, 39, was hit by a bus along the Maharlika Highway in Barangay Bantug here, a few kilometers from their house.
The couple, along with seven others, died when the Metro Manila-bound bus hit them and an oncoming fuel tanker at 2:30 a.m. The drivers of the bus and the fuel tanker also died in the collision.
“On the eve of her death, she talked to us and expressed hopes that she would be able to save money in three years so our house could be repaired,” said Maria Crissa, 17, the partner of her eldest son, Mark Anthony, 19.
“She kept on telling us that we could live a somewhat comfortable life when she starts working as a maid in Singapore,” she said.
The Pajarillos left six children—the eldest is 19 years old and the youngest, 2 years old.
She was also the leader of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, a government conditional cash transfer program for poor families, in the subvillage of Villa Javier. Leoncio was a carpenter.
Their son, Benjie, 18, said his mother was supposed to wait for a Metro Manila-bound bus near their house but buses coming from Cagayan Valley would usually fetch passengers in well-lit areas in the city.
“My parents were on their way to a gasoline station so they used our motorcycle,” he said.
With their eldest sibling having a partner and a child, Benjie said he does not know how he would raise his younger siblings.
“I really do not know how I could fulfill our mother’s dream of sending my siblings to school and fixing our house,” he said.
He said he did not know where to get the money for the burial of his parents.
While waiting for the bodies of their parents from a local funeral parlor, Benjie and his younger siblings lit candles in their house as they prayed for help.
Supt. Michael Angelo Zuñiga, city police chief, said representatives of Victory Liner have yet to discuss any financial assistance for the victims.
“They are still in the field to check everything,” he said.
SPO2 Redentor Honorio, the case investigator, said it was likely that the bus first hit the Pajarillos’ motorcycle before it slammed into the tanker.
“However, we’re still looking for people who saw how the accident happened. The fuel tanker was on the proper lane when it was hit by the bus,” he said.