5 kids killed, 2 others hurt in Biliran road accident

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TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte—Five children were killed while two others were injured on Wednesday night when a pickup truck owned by the Biliran Electric Cooperative (Bileco) driven allegedly by a drunk driver hit them while they were standing on the roadside in Biliran town, Biliran.

Inspector Jayson Balbarona, Biliran town police chief, identified the fatalities as Glory Anne Bacalla, 12, and her sisters Ma. Rose, 9, and Jia, 7; and Marivic Garis, 9, and sister Florens, 7.

Christine Bacalla, 11, and Jennel Napoles, 8, are still confined at Divine Word University Hospital in Tacloban, but doctors said they were out of danger.

Balbarona said Poncio Banluta, driver of a pickup truck owned by Bileco, was detained to face a complaint of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and serious physical injuries filed at the provincial prosecutor’s office in Naval, 21 kilometers from Biliran town.

The vehicle came from Tacloban and was on its way to Naval town when it hit the victims who were standing on the roadside in Barangay (village) San Isidro, Biliran, at 7:31 p.m. on Wednesday.

Balbarona quoted witnesses as saying that Banluta was drunk and driving fast at the time of the accident.

Killed on the spot were Marivic, Florens, Glory Anne and Ma. Rose. Jia died on Thursday afternoon at Divine Word University Hospital in Tacloban City.

Banluta, 46, and a resident of Barangay Larrazabal, Naval town, surrendered to police and was detained at the Biliran municipal police station.

Marlon Roa, Bileco general manager, has provided financial assistance to the families of the victims.

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