North Cotabato mayor honors boy who dies bringing water to quake survivors
KIDAPAWAN CITY –– Mayor Joseph Evangelista on Wednesday paid tribute to a 16-year-old boy, who died while on his way to send potable water to quake victims here and in Makilala, Cotabato province.
“In behalf of the people of Kidapawan, we would like to express our deep sorrow for the sudden demise of Jubert Cabrera, truck helper of Davao City-based Dumoy Fresh Water, who offered his life for the victims of the earthquakes in the town of Makilala and Kidapawan City,” Evangelista said in a statement.
Cabrera, 16, a Grade 11 student of Nikkei Jin Kai Senior High School in Davao City and a resident of Barangay Mahan-ug, Cateel, Davao Oriental, also saved the lives of many commuters before he was pinned to death by the water tanker, Evangelista said.
The minor worked as a helper of the water tanker driven by Jimmy Caben, en route to distribute drinking water for Makilala and Kidapawan City quake survivors when their truck’s brake system malfunctioned along the road on Tuesday morning.
Sensing danger, Cabrera repeatedly yelled at drivers of incoming vehicles on the opposite lane, sending signals urging them to maneuver at the shouldering, to avoid colliding with the water truck where he was on board.
“Had he failed to give those signals to incoming vehicles, there could have been multiple injuries and deaths as well,” Evangelista said.
The tanker fell off a huge drainage canal along the descending portion of the highway in Malasila, Makilala town, pinning to death the boy, who fell first into the canal.
Caben, who suffered head and body injuries, was treated in a hospital.
“In these difficult times, we Kidapawenos are with you and your family,” the mayor told Cabrera’s family. “We pray from the bottom of our hearts that the Almighty will grant your families peace and strength in facing these difficult times,” the mayor said in a statement sent to Dumoy Fresh Water Supply.
Despite the freak accident, the water firm pushed through with its relief operations using two other water tankers./lzb
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