MANILA, Philippines - Police are ready to file criminal charges against the owner of the wayward truck that killed five people and injured at least 13 others in Taytay, Rizal last Thursday.
PO2 Jimmy Fonang, an investigator of the Taytay police, told The STAR in a phone interview that probers are ready to file a case of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and multiple serious physical injuries with damage to property against businesswoman Rosemarie Ballesteros, of San Miguel, Bulacan.
Fonang disclosed though that there were ongoing talks between the families and relatives of the victims and a representative of Ballesteros for a possible amicable settlement.
“If the settlement fails, police are ready to file a criminal offense against the owner at the Rizal prosecutor’s office,” Fonang said.
“The truck driver, Enrico Enriquez, was one of the fatalities in the vehicular accident, subsequently the owner will be responsible for all the consequences, including criminal liabilities and damages,” he said.
Fonang said Ballesteros though has assured the victims’ families that she would shoulder all their expenditures, including hospital bills and burial expenses.
Fonang said Enriquez’ helper, Eduardo Soliman, had given himself up to authorities but was later released as no charges have been filed against him.
Soliman escaped death as he managed to jump out of the wayward truck after Enriquez told him that the brake system had malfunctioned.
Soliman told police that they were on their way to Malabon to deliver gravel and sand when the tragedy struck as they were descending Dolores Road in Taytay town at around 11:30 a.m. Thursday.
He said Enriquez repeatedly stepped on the brakes but the truck would not stop. Sensing trouble, he opened the right door of the truck and jumped to his safety. He sustained minor injuries.
The truck, however, continued its descent on high speed, smashing a Mitsubishi Montero Sport, a motorcycle, pedestrians, and concrete barriers before coming to a complete stop as it rammed a police sub-station, where three policemen were injured.
Aside from Enriquez, the fatalities included his wife Maricel; Noel Almorado, 17; Gaylord Makiputan; and Kevin Cruz, 11.
Injured were Judy Ann Santos, 18; PO2 Benedick Harold Orfanel; PO1s Christian Cantanero, 22, and Ron Elly Miranda; Fareel Mercado, 44, and his wife Cynthia, 41, and their children Gian Franco, 5, and Chiermae, 3; Edison Orrilanes, 31; Demetrio Francisco, 51; Rodel Factor, 21; Bimboy Tabon Tabon, 25; and Gilbert Compa, 33. - By Ed Amoroso and Non Alquitran