LUCENA CITY, Philippines—Two persons were killed and three others injured when a heavy equipment payloader being used in setting up a stage for a Liberal Party political rally in Macalelon, Quezon, lost its brakes and rammed a group of people Monday afternoon, police said.
In a report, Police Officer 2 Marcelino B. Enobal, Macalelon police investigator, said that at around 12:20 p.m., one of the fatal victims, Arnold Tayag, ordered Roger Pastrana, payloader operator, to use the heavy equipment in hanging campaign materials at the roof of the stage, which they were preparing for a political rally in the afternoon at the Mountain of Faith in Barangay (village) Pinagbayanan.
Police said Pastrana suggested that Tayag use the ladder that they had brought but the latter insisted on the use of the heavy equipment.
As Pastrana was maneuvering the payloader, which was parked at a hilly portion, the brakes of the heavy equipment malfunctioned and ran straight to Tayag and a group of bystanders, police said.
Police said Tayag and one Cesar Tolentino were both pinned down by the heavy equipment and died on the spot.
In a phone interview, Enobal said Malou Desembrana, Aries Dean and Minda Gerez, all local residents, sustained injuries and were rushed to a hospital in nearby Gumaca town.
Police said the local LP candidates decided to cancel the scheduled political rally due to the tragic accident.
Pastrana was detained at the local police jail for questioning.