Police Regional Office – Cordillera Regional Director BGen. Ephraim Israel Dickson said he issued order to the Cordillera police force to immediately intensify the enforcement of overloading and check all vehicles at checkpoints which are transporting goods and people so that they do not go beyond their weight capacity. Otherwise, they should be apprehended for violation of the transportation laws.
This following the directive of PNP OIC Chief Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa to all the regional directors to intensify their operations against overloaded motor vehicles to avert accidents and other transport-related incidents like the road mishap that killed 19 individuals and injured more than 20 passengers in Conner, Apayao last October 31.
"A vehicular accident happened in PRO-Cor that claimed 19 lives. 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, PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) also gave instruction to DOTr (Department of Transportation) and its attached agencies to prevent this from happening. On our end, what we can immediately do is to stop overloaded vehicles. Convert this to a memo for nationwide implementation during checkpoint operations,” Gamboa said in his message to all the police regional directors nationwide during the UNDAS observance last week.
The Land Transportation Office Central Office has issued a directive for the strict implementation on the prohibition of the operation of motor vehicles exceeding the registered passenger capacity and on passengers riding outside of the vehicle at the space intended for cargo and freight.
Sections 32 and 51 of Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code also provides that it is unlawful to allow passengers on board the cargo or freight provisions of a truck including pickup vehicles.
Police report on the Apayao vehicular accident indicated that the engine of the elf truck with more than 40 people on board shut off while traversing a steep portion of the road towards Conner proper causing it to lose its brakes and fell into a 15-meter ravine.
Apayao Provincial Police Office Director Col. Byron Tegui-in said that the passengers came from Gagabutan in Rizal, Cagayan where they received agricultural support and were on their way home to Lattut, Rizal, and Cagayan when the accident occurred. They passed thru Conner since it was the shortest route to their destination.
Among the dead was a Sangguniang Kabataan official of Barangay Allangigan, Conner who hitched a ride.
Governor Eleanor Bulut-Begtang already provided support to the victims of the accident including cash assistance to those who were hospitalized in Conner and Cagayan.
She called on motorists passing through the roads in Apayao and other areas in the Cordillera region to take all the necessary precautions due to the more challenging roads and terrain in the mountainous areas. (JDP-RMC- PIA-CAR)