Issue of November 10, 2019
Mt. Province
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Apayao tragedy triggers PNP to check overloaded vehicles
by PNA release

FATAL -- Police investigators check on the ill-fated truck that was involved in an accident where 19 persons were killed while 22 others were injured in Conner, Apayao on Nov. 7. -- Apayao PNP photo

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Police operatives in the Cordillera will intensify their checkpoint operations to flag down overloaded motor vehicles, an official said.

“The order is to intensify checkpoint operation giving emphasis on the checking of overloaded vehicles,” said Brig. Gen. Israel Ephraim Dickson, Police Regional Office-Cordillera director.

The order came following the death of 19 people who figured in a vehicular accident on Oct. 31 in Conner, Apayao.

Based on a report, an Elf truck loaded with sacks of rice and corn planting materials and 43 people from Rizal, Cagayan was traversing the ascending portion of the road along Barangay Gassud in Conner when the engine malfunctioned, causing it to slide back and eventually fall into a 20-meter ravine.

The road crash also left 22 others hurt.

Dickson said based on the initial investigation, the vehicle malfunctioned due to overloading.

He said Philippine National Police Officer-in-Charge, Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa, instructed the regional directors to intensify their operations against overloaded motor vehicles.

“In the advent of the holidays, let us do our part in apprehending and cautioning overloading trucks, especially private vehicles. During the previous vehicular accident in Cotabato that also claimed lives, President Rodrigo Duterte also gave instruction to the Department of Transportation and its attached agencies to prevent this from happening,” Gamboa’s order stated.

Dickson said provincial directors were ordered to intensify the drive against overloading and check all vehicles transporting goods and people so that they do not go beyond their weight capacity.

He added that the chief of the regional Highway Patrol Group, the Land Transportation Office, and PRO-Cor went to the road crash site for an ocular inspection.

Lt./Col. Laureano Alexis Mariñas, chief of the Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division of PRO-Cor who went to the site with the HPG and the LTO, said a retaining wall is being constructed.

He said the area is accident-prone that is why the local government requested the construction of a retaining wall.

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