By NITZ ARANCON and JOEY NACALABAN
THE death of a government engineer in a tragic accident on the highway in Barangay Gusa here yesterday exposed the government’s disregard for public safety, lousy vehicular traffic management work and inaction.
For days, a yellow crane truck has remained stationary in the middle of the highway, and there has been no clear effort to move it to the side of the road. There were only two small early warning devices placed approximately a meter away the unmoving crane truck, one at the front and another at the back.
Tragedy struck as a white Mitsubishi pick-up truck crashed into the crane truck’s rear at around 1:30 am yesterday.
Police said the pick-up truck’s driver, 51-year old government engineer Ifour Manduro, was pinned to death.
A rescue team from city hall responded and rushed Manduro to the Capitol University Medical City (CUMC) where he was declared dead on arrival by Dr. Angelito Orcales.
Oscar Salcedo, Land Transportation Office (LTO) director for northern Mindanao, said ensuring the smooth flow of vehicular traffic on the highway in Gusa is the joint responsibility of city hall through the Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA), DPWH and LTO.
“The wrecker of RTA is not working. Unsaun na lang ani?” reads Salcedo’s text message. “Nadaot ang wrecker sa RTA. Second hand nga old model ra man ilamg gipalit.”
RTA chief Nonito Oclarit said he was informed about the crane truck that has been obstructing vehicular traffic flow in the middle of the highway for days only yesterday, after it cost Engr. Manduro his life.
SPO1 Alhadsi Acmad of the Agora police said Manduro, an engineer at the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in El Salvador, Misamis Oriental, was on his way home at Villa Flora Subdivision in Barangay Cugman, from downtown Cagayan de Oro when the accident took place.
Acmad said Engr. Manduro had just come from a DPWH sports activity organized in time for the Department’s 120th anniversary.
The evening before the accident, Manduro had dinner with his three sons and wife. It was going to be his last.
Incidentally, Manduro’s eldest son has just passed the licensure examinations for engineers while his youngest marked his birthday yesterday.
Manduro’s brother-in-law Julius Bautista said, “Nanihapon pa siya uban iyang pamilya anang gabii pero mibalik siya sa DPWH kay coach man siya sa usa sa basketball team nga nagdula.”
SPO1 Acmad said authorities were preparing to press charges against the crane truck’s driver and owner.
He noted that the crane truck has been stationary in the middle of the highway since Tuesday.
Acmad said the crane truck owner has yet to send a mechanic from Manila.
Acmad theorized that the accident was a result of poor lighting at the section of the highway in Gusa.
Bautista said Manduro’s family was also planning on filing a case against the crane truck’s owner.
Police said the crane truck is owned by Makati Development Corp. (MDC) that is working on a condominium construction project on Ramon Chavez St. here.
On its website, MDC stated that it is the construction arm and subsidiary of Ayala Land Inc. which has constructed mixed-use, commercial and residential developments, business districts, hotels and resorts as well as various infrastructure since 1974.
MDC said its projects in the city include the 24-floor Centrio Tower and the 27-floor Avida Towers Aspira-Tower 1 residential building, both being constructed for Avida Land Corp.; Alegria Hills being constructed for Ayala Land Premier in Barangay Indahag, and the Centrio mall.