May 24, 2024

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The provincial government is mourning the death of 13 people who died in a vehicular accident last April 18.

In a statement posted on its official social media page, the provincial government said, “The Kalinga officialdom grieves and asks the community for a minute of silence and prayer for the bereaved families and souls of those who passed away due to a tragic vehicular accident.”

Gov. Ferdinand Tubban has instructed the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office to extend all possible assistance to the bereaved families.

The local government also reminded the community to follow lockdowns imposed in identified areas and the prohibition of non-essential activities.

“Stay home, stay safe,” the post read.

Based on the report of Kalinga Police Provincial Director Col. Davy Limmong, it was around 6:15 p.m. when a black sports utility vehicle driven by Bureau of Jail Management and Penology employee Soy Lope Agtulao with 14 passengers, including eight children, fell into an irrigation canal at Barangay Bulo.

Thirteen of the passengers died from drowning.

They were declared dead on arrival at the Mejia Kim Medical Center in Agbannawag and the Kalinga Provincial Hospital in Bulanao.

Fatalities were Cydwin Lope, 6; Cyan Lope, 4; her brother Sony Lope, 22, and her father Alfredo Lope, 59; Judilyn Talawec Dumayom, 31, and her children Seadarn, 5 and Jeslyn, 4; Remedios Longey Basilio, 56; Marlo Gel Perena, 6, the niece of the adult survivor; and Jessibell Paycao, 27, and her children Cedric, 4, and Scarlet, 3.

Edith Perez was able to get out of the vehicle along with the jail officer’s 10-year-old child, Cyril.

Tabuk City Chief of Police Lt/Col. Radino Belly said based on Perez’s account, the group decided to go to Bulo Lake to take photos before going to Barangay Tadian where their father lives.

Agtulao drove slowly, according to Perez, knowing that they were overloaded.

“Perez said Soy (Agtulao) suddenly lost control of the vehicle and maneuvered towards the irrigation canal,” Belly said.

A brother of Agtulao was on a motorcycle and trailing the ill-fated vehicle but did not witness the incident.

Perez will be subjected to debriefing by a social worker, according to Belly. – PNA