AT THE Boljoon complex, where the wake for the nine casualties in the dump truck that crashed in Upper Becerril last Friday morning, July 19, 2019, was held, bereaved families sought justice.
They were joined by Gov. Gwen Garcia on Saturday, July 20, who condoled and spoke with them. Also present were Provincial Board Member Jose Mari Salvador and Boljoon Mayor Merlou Derama.
Apart from the burial, medical and financial assistance from the Provincial Government, Garcia also extended cash aid using her own money to the families of the casualties.
The governor also encouraged local government units to use buses to ferry passengers to activities.
“Dugay na to, gobernador pa ko, duna na man untay polisiya ana apan dili man gud mapatuman kay wa may laing mapasakyan... Pero wa pa ko kahibaw sa kahimtang diri sa Boljoon kung duna bay available bus na magamit or kato rang dump truck (In my earlier stint as governor, there was supposed to be a policy banning the use of dump trucks as passenger vehicles but it was difficult to enforce, especially for those with no other means... I have yet to check if Boljoon has a bus or just the dump truck),” she said.
Using dump trucks as passenger vehicles is a common practice in mountain barangays since these can maneuver in difficult terrain and have a larger carrying capacity than the average vehicle.
Aside from this, the governor also urged town and city mayors to ensure that frontliners, such as drivers, undergo proper training to ensure safety and security.
“That should be a lesson, a tragic lesson to all of us as chief executives. Ultimately, we are the ones responsible (for constituents),” she added.
Garcia will also meet with members of the Provincial Local School Board to review provisions on sports district meets.
Among the concerns she wants to thresh out is the safety and security of participating students and how the Department of Education can ensure these.
Passengers of the mini dump truck in last Friday’s accident were pupils of the Nangka Elementary School, San Antonio Elementary School and Upper Becerril Elementary School.
According to Ruben Niere, Boljoon public information officer, they were on their way to attend the opening of a district meet in the town center.
Police Master Sergeant Nelson Saquibal, traffic investigator of Boljoon Police Station, said the truck was traversing a downhill portion when the driver Danilo Niere lost control of the vehicle, causing it to fall on its side.
Several of the children were thrown off while others were pinned down by the dump truck.
The driver was also injured and was brought to the hospital, but was later put under arrest.
Cases of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and multiple physical injuries and damage to government property will be filed against him.
Saquibal said Danilo told them he lost control of the brakes, but they still needed to verify this. (RTF)