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After sports car kills couple in Iloilo, fear raised driver will flee Philippines

/ 04:45 PM June 16, 2019

ILOILO CITY—A couple headed to a park here were killed after they were hit by a sports car, triggering calls for justice and anger over authorities’ failure to enforce speed limits in the city.

Friends and relatives of Joe Marie Osano, 49, and wife Alnie Dinah Pet-Osano, 45, took to social media to express shock, grief and anger after the couple were hit and dragged by a Mazda MX-5, which has a top speed of at least 200 kilometers per hour, along the Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue in Mandurriao District early on Saturday (June 15).

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Joe Marie is school principal of La Paz II Elementary School while Alnie Dinah teaches at the Ticud Elementary School in this city.

The couple were on the pedestrian lane around 6:20 a.m. and were believed to be going to the Iloilo Esplanade to jog when they were hit.

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Lt. Col. Efren Lozada, chief of the Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Unit of the Iloilo City Police Office, said the driver of the car, June Paul Valencia, didn’t stop immediately after hitting the couple and drove for some 40 meters more.

A passing motorist took Valencia to the Mandurriao District police station.

Valencia, 32, was released after paying P60,000 in bail on a charge of reckless imprudence resulting in damage to property with double homicide.

Friends and relatives of the victims raised fear that Valencia, said to be a dual citizen, might attempt to flee the country to avoid prosecution.

Witnesses had said that Valencia’s car was traveling very fast when it hit the victims.

The incident also raised questions on the failure to enforce a speed limit on several roads in the city, including Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue, which is a 15.5-kilometer road linking General Luna Street to the Iloilo International Airport in Cabatuan town.

A portion of the avenue, called Iloilo-Jaro Diversion Road, stretches for nearly 6 kilometers and has eight lanes on top of lanes for bicycles and pedestrians.

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A 2015 city ordinance sets a speed limit to be enforced by authorities wielding speed guns but its implementation had been put on hold by amendments that are still pending.

But Councilor Joshua Alim, principal author of the ordinance, said the amendments had already been approved.

“I don’t understand why this has not been implemented. This cannot eliminate all accidents but this can certainly help reduce them,” he told the INQUIRER.

The law sets the maximum speed for automobiles and motorcycles along the Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue at 60 kilometers per hour (kph) and 50 kph for buses and trucks.

Other main streets in the city have speed limits of 40 kph for automobiles and motorcycles and 30 kph for trucks and buses.

Setting speed limits became necessary following the completion of projects that had transformed the city’s two-lane roads to six or eight lanes amid a construction boom in the city.

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TAGS: construction boom, Iloilo City, Mazda, pedestrian, roads, speed limits, sports car
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