Apayao mayor, aide dead in road mishap

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LAOAG CITY—Mayor Betty Verzola of Luna, Apayao, died in a road accident in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, on Saturday morning, police said.

The accident in Barangay Pasaleng also killed her security aide and injured three people, including Luna Vice Mayor Josephine Bangsil.

Insp. Suerte Ubungen, deputy police chief of Pagudpud, said the mayor’s group was in a van bound for Apayao when the accident happened at 1:20 a.m. The driver, Jun Ildefonso, avoided hitting a carabao along the Pasaleng section of the highway in Pagudpud, causing him to lose control of the wheel. The van crashed into a tree.

Police said Verzola, 62, died while being taken to Bangui District Hospital while her security aide, Marlon Taclibon, died instantly.

Their companions—Vice Mayor Bangsil, Lilibeth Agustin and Ildefonso—were taken to a hospital in Batac City for treatment.

Verzola and her companions came from Baguio City, where they attended a two-day orientation forum organized by the Department of the Interior and Local Government for Cordillera officials elected on May 13. Leilanie Adriano and Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon

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