Saturday, February 16, 2019

Teen killed by post, chair leg

A THIRTEEN-year-old boy died while his two companions were injured by a post that fell on McArthur Blvd. in Barangay Tinago, Cebu City.

Ralph Bureros was eating barbecue with friends Desiree Ambros and Dorine Estologa on the boulevard shortly before 10 p.m. last Tuesday when the post fell on the barbecue station.

This just happened caught in our cctv, the kid was injured,still in the hospital and we don't know his condition.Edit: the kid was announced DOA by the doctor.

Posted by Lorrine Baylon-Villafuerte on Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Ralph was pinned down by the post, which broke his leg. Seconds later, the chair he was sitting on gave way and the leg pierced his right side. The Cebu City Emergency Medical Services said that the post fell at 10:13 p.m.

Edmundo Bureros, Ralph’s father, was teary-eyed when he visited the Waterfront Police Station where he met with representatives from the Visayan Electric Company (Veco) along with Ambros’s stepfather Dominador Salem and Estologa’s mother May Estologa.

The parents agreed not to file cases against Veco’s linemen Jessie Aton Ngojo, 32, and Fernando Maluya Inot, 48, while the company will shoulder medical and burial expenses.

It was clarified, though, that Veco will shoulder the expenses for humanitarian reasons and not because they admit liability.

Ngojo and Inot work for Rosch Enterprises, Veco’s contractor. They were booked in the Waterfront Police Station for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide.

Tinago Barangay Captain Joel Garganera brought Ngojo and Inot to the police station following the accident.

Garganera narrated that around 9:30 p.m., a man driving a motorcycle was choked by a wire that dangled over the boulevard. He wasn’t severely injured but Garganera called Veco to have the wires secured.


As Veco’s contractor, Rosch sent Ngojo and Inot. But when the linemen were in the area, they told Garganera and his tanods that the dangling wires were from the Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) Company.

“My tanods asked them to fix the wires anyway to prevent another accident. They refused because the wires were not Veco’s,” said Garganera.

When they saw that vehicles could pass, the Rosch men left the scene.

But moments later, Tinago tanods heard an explosion and a blackout hit Sitios Sto. Niño, Villa Abuno, Sagrada and Putat in Tinago. The explosion heard was of the post slamming to the ground.

Witnesses said that a trailer truck passed through and dragged the dangling wires with it.

Ngojo and Inot went back to check the cause of the blackout. By then, some residents were already angry, believing that that the accident could have been prevented had the linemen helped keep the dangling wires.

Garganera said he was at a loss on where to pin responsibility. He decided to bring Ngojo and Inot to the police station also to secure them from irate residents who had surrounded them.

At the police station, a reckless imprudence resulting in damage to property was also recorded in the blotter naming “PLDT post and unknown trailer truck” as “suspects.”


Chief Insp. Jose Gesto, the police station’s officer-in-charge, said that the traffic police was already informed to investigate the accident further and identify the driver of the trailer truck and its owner.

Para mahibaw-an kung nagdinanghag ba (To check if they were being reckless),” said Gesto about the investigation.

Ngojo and Inot were released from the station yesterday, after Veco’s representatives and the families settled the incident.

Dili unta nako madawat (I didn’t want to accept it),” Edmundo said of the settlement, “Pero kahibalo man ko nga dili tinuyo-an (But I know it was an accident).”

Ralph was the fourth of sixth children.

“I told him to sleep because he still had classes the next day,” Edmundo remembered.

Ralph’s older brother Bruce was working in a car wash across the barbecue station. Edmundo said that when the accident happened, Bruce rushed to Ralph’s aid, removed the chair’s leg lodged in his side, carried him and boarded a Tinago vehicle to the Cebu City Medical Center.


Ralph didn’t make it.

Abi nako maputol na akong kamot (I thought I was going to lose my arm),” remembered Estologa, 13, who has a three-inch laceration in her right arm.

While Estologo was not pinned down by the post, the wires from the post snaked around her body, immobilizing her. She slowly removed the wires, though it was difficult for her small frame.

Salem said that Ambros is still confined in the hospital. She needs a CT (computerized tomography) scan.

Councilor Dave Tumulak said it’s about time telecommunication companies, power distributors and cable companies were held accountable for their wires. He said he will look into the possibility of proposing legislation that will penalize companies that have dangling wires that might endanger the public.

In a separate interview, Jill Verallo, Veco corporate communications manager, said that their safety department’s initial investigation showed the post belongs to a telecommunications company.

Pole numbers

Veco’s posts, whether wooden or concrete, have pole numbers, she said. Also, unlike the post that fell, the power company’s posts are not painted yellow at one end.

“As per report from our safety department, we are sure it’s not our post,” Verallo said.

A representative of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Inc. (PLDT) said that the cables indeed belonged to PLDT but he did not say who owned the post.

Bong Lintag, PLDT assistant vice president and Cebu Customer Service Zone head, added in a phone interview that the matter was referred to the company’s legal office in Manila.

He said that if PLDT had been called to respond to the situation, they would have set up measures to warn the public against getting near the post until the wires could be fixed.

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