ZAMBOANGA City — At least 11 soldiers were injured, some seriously, in two separate vehicular accidents in western Mindanao last Saturday afternoon.
Five of the slightly wounded Army soldiers were identified as Ssg Elmer C. Demontaño, Pvt Gison B Pacamalan, Pvt Jun Jim A Polbiriza, Pvt Jaybone S. Herva, and a certain Darwin C. Devalid, said to be the driver of the ill-fated KM-250 truck bearing registration plate number SKM378.
Along with the driver of a taxi that bumbed into the military truck, the victims were brought to the nearby Initao Municipal Hospital in Initao, Misamis Oriental for immediate medical attention.
A white Toyota Vios taxi bearing plate number YD4950 driven by a certain Elmer Fermano Verzosa bumped from behind the left rear wheel of the KM-250 6×6 truck while travelling along the Cagayan de Oro-Iligan highway at the vicinity of Purok 11, Barangay Maputi, Naawan, Misamis Oriental about 1:30pm on Saturday, causing injuries on the victims.
In another road accident about 2:45pm Saturday, at least six persons were wounded when a 6×6 truck of the Philippine Marines with 14 soldiers and a public school official onboard plunged into a deep ravine at the vicinity of Lugakit Elementary School in Sitio Lugakit, Barangay Salaan, Zamboanga City.
As of press time, however, the Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT) 11, Philippine Marine Corps based in Zamboanga withheld the identities of the victims pending notification of their respective families.
The ill-fated military truck with 14 Marine troopers and unnamed principal of the Baluno Elementary School onboard was negotiating a dilapidated road on its way back to the city proper, after rendering a convoy and security operation for the ABS-CBN Medical Outreach at Baluno Elementary School in Barangay Baluno, when the driver lost control of the vehicle, causing it to accidentally fall into a cliff, which the police initially reported to be “more or less 250 meters deep.”
Earlier at 12:25pm on Saturday, a certain PO3 Joey Balibagoso Dumalahay of the Philippine National Police (PNP) was seriously injured when the Honda XRM-125 motorcycle, without a registration plate attached, he was driving collided with a Fuso dropside truck with plate number RJE513 and driven by Patricio P. Ocon while travelling along the Diversion Road, Zone 5, Barangay 11, Impalambong, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.
Concerned motorists rushed PO3 Dumalahay to Bethel Baptist Hospital for immediate medical attention.
Last December, a number of soldiers and policemen were either killed or hurt in road accidents around Mindanao.
Last December 8, two army soldiers died when a military truck plunged into a ravine at Sitio Dumalian, Barangay Lourdes, Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur
The military truck was evacuating two wounded soldiers when the accident happened. Same soldiers died in the accident.
Earlier that day, troops from the Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion encountered some 30 NPA rebels, triggering a three-hour firefight in Barangay Gasa, Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur which wounded three soldiers, one of whom was airlifted from the battle zone.
Four Army soldiers were wounded when the KM-450 truck they were riding in fell into a 10-meter deep ravine along the Sayre Highway at the vicinity of Sitio Rawari, Barangay Kahusayan, Kitaotao, Bukidnon about 10am last Dec. 29.
Two Army men died and eight other personnel of 39IB were hurt when the KM-450 truck they were riding in, avoided hitting a child who suddenly crossed the road, turned turtle several times before it fell 10 feet into a shallow cliff at Crossing Bulwang Spring in Sitio Lukeke, Barangay Malatab mid-morning last Dec. 11.
Last Dec. 17, PCI Raymund Sarmogenes, chief of police of Antipas, Cotabato, died in a road accident along the highway in Amas, Kidapawan City. (RONDA Balita Online News)