Charges readied against driver
Charges are set to be filed against the driver of the passenger jeepney, which rammed a dump truck in barangay Magdugo, Toledo City, southern Cebu.
Two female passengers were killed while 16 others were wounded in Friday night’s accident.
The driver of the jeepney Edelmar Alister, 29, of barangay Cantabaco, Toledo, was detained at the Toledo City police station.
Charges of reckless imprudence resulting to double homicide and multiple physical injuries will be filed against Alister, SPO2 Lorenzo Mahilum, traffic investigator of Toledo police, said.
The fatalities were identified as Rosemarie Bangkok, 44, and Laarni Distaho, 24, both from Don Andres Soriano (DAS), Toledo City.
They were pronounced dead at the Toledo City District Hospital.
The injured passengers were transferred to the South General Hospital in Naga City and Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City.
Mahilum said that based on the initial investigation, Alister could be at fault in the accident as some passengers told investigators that the jeepney was speeding when the accident occurred.
Alister claimed he didn’t notice the parked truck as he was blinded by the lights from an incoming vehicle.
The driver of the truck, Junzen Labajo, 21, of barangay Jaclopan, Talisay City, was allowed to go home after being questioned by investigators
The passenger jeepney came from barangay Poblacion, Toledo and was headed for DAS at past 7 p.m. on Friday.
But when the jeepney reached barangay Magdugo, the jeepney rammed the dump truck, which was parked on the side of the road.
The dump truck, which was carrying sand and gravel, was heading for Cebu City, Mahilum said.
Witnesses said the dump truck’s hazard lights were switched on while parked as the truck driver was eating.
Cebu Rep. Pablo John Garcia of the 3rd district said he is hoping that financial assistance for the victims will be released immediately.
Garcia said in a text message to Cebu Daily News that he will be extending P20,000 financial assistance to those who died and P10,000 for those who were injured.
He said the amount will be taken from his Provincial Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) amounting to P5 million which he deposited to the trust fund of the provincial government.
“So I hope Vice Governor Magpale will not do anything to prevent or hamper the release of these funds to the victims and their families,” he said.
Magpale has been the acting governor for more than a month now following the suspension of Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia.
“We are processing the financial assistance part on Monday because the paperwork will have to be completed. But as far as medical expenses, they are charged to my funds at the VSMMC, so no problem,” he added.
Garcia criticized the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) for not extending assistance to the victims in a separate accident in Naga City where a trailer truck rammed a passenger bus.
Eleven persons were killed in the accident while several others were injured.
“Do you know that all expenses of the 39 persons who were discharged from the hospital were paid out of our fund? This is because when they were ready for discharge, Capitol could still not decide what it was willing to cover,” Garcia said.
“The same thing is happening now with the Magdugo incident. All 13 victims are now for discharge and all expenses will be paid from our medical assistance fund,” Garcia said.
Apart from medical assistance, Garcia said his office is also taking care of the food expenses of the victims./CORRESPONDENTS CARMEL MATUS, JHUNNEX NAPALLACAN AND JOY CHERRY S. QUITO