By Malu Cadeliña Manar
KIDAPAWAN CITY – Three persons, two of them senior high school students, died while eight others were hurt after a passenger multi-cab fell into a ravine at the foot of Mount Apo, at Barangay Ilomavis here, Sunday, a police officer said.
Chief Inspector Ramel Hojilla, Kidapawan City police director, identified those who died as Panda Pacatua, 62; Jalilah Salim Ibrahim, 16; and Jonaisa Salim Ibrahim, 18, all residents of Barangay Indangan in Makilala, North Cotabato.
Jonaisa and her sister Jalilah were both senior high school students at the Indangan National High School in Barangay Indangan.
Injured were Monjer Ibrahim, 18; Samdil Linao, 19; Merlin Marohom, 15; Javere Salim, 10; Melody Noveno, 18; Tarhata Lumna, 19; Jalil Ibrahim, 20; at Jane Noveno, 47.
Hojilla said the incident happened at 4 p.m., Sunday, at Purok-Tres, Barangay Ilomavis, this city.
Monjer Ibrahim, one of those injured, said the multi-cab, which he said was overloaded with passengers and cargo, went wayward after it maneuvered a blind curve along Barangay Ilomavis. The driver, he said, could no longer hold the brakes so it sped very fast and minutes later fell into a 20-foot ravine.
Of those onboard the vehicle, only the driver identified as Moises Oclarit Ladra, 54, sustained minor injuries. The rest, according to Hojilla, suffered head contusions and injuries in different parts of their bodies. Five of those injured, according to reports, are still in critical condition.
Monjer said they had just attended a birthday party of his niece at the Mahomanay Hot Spring and Resort at Lake Agko and were headed back to the city when the accident happened.
Monjer never thought the party could end in tragedy. The three who died in the accident were his relatives.
Hojilla said charges of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and multiple frustrated homicide are being prepared against the driver.