Briones: Culpability

AR Adlawan Construction Inc.

That’s the name of the contractor that is implementing a P48-million drainage project along the national highway in Barangay Bulacao, Talisay City.

The public should remember it. So should the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) that hired its services.

AR Adlawan is responsible for the death of a 29-year-old graduate of electrical engineering last Sunday dawn.

Norman delos Reyes was driving home to Minglanilla on his motorcycle when he fell into a 10-foot-deep hole that the contractor had left open by the side of the road.

The DPWH Second Engineering District said that AR Adlawan should have taken precautionary measures in the excavation.

Parents have lost a son who had dreamed of working abroad so he could buy them a house and all the agency could say was that its contractor should have been extra careful.

That’s hardly even a slap on the wrist.

Three days before that fatal fall, Bulacao Barangay Captain Raul Cabañero requested the contractor to provide protective barriers around the excavation, while District Engineer Leslie Anthony Molina said he has been reminding the contractor to put up cautionary lines to prevent accidents since December last year.

Yet, Molina said that the DPWH cannot sanction AR Adlawan since the latter is obligated to finish the project as part of their contract, but he advised the contractor to assist the delos Reyes family with their needs.

Advise. Again, it’s as if nothing had happened.

Come on, people. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that the DPWH and AR Adlawan committed a grave mistake here.

And yet they both acted like what happened was nothing out of the ordinary.

A representative of the contractor told SunStar Cebu’s Justin K. Vestil that they wouldn’t comment any further on the incident because they already committed to help Norman’s family. It’s as if any amount of money would bring Norman back to life, which I’m sure what the family would prefer.

But Norman’s gone. For good. And his father Alejo, a driver for the Minglanilla Municipal Government, is resigned to that fact.

Even though his son “embodied the dreams and aspirations of his family,” Alejo has no plans to press charges against AR Adlawan or the DPWH.

“Dili na lang ko. Samok naman gud nang magkiha-kiha pa ta. Dayun pobre ra gyud ta,” he said.

Obviously, they can’t afford to go up against a government contractor and a government agency. But President Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino can. Maybe he should take up the cudgels for the delos Reyes family.

What do you say, Mr. Dino?
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