By Jason B. Neola
PILI, Camarines Sur --- While the municipal government here has been trying its best to ensure safety on the roads, the tragic death of a visiting septuagenarian Filipino couple from the United States has taken the local authorities to task regarding stricter enforcement of traffic laws and maintenance of safer highways.
Mayor Tomas Bongalonta Jr. said the efforts of the local traffic enforcers and the police to guide motorists to drive more cautiously while they (the authorities) try to manage the traffic flow has been given a closer look following the recent deaths of an elderly couple.
“I have already sent letters to the Public Safety Office, the Pili Municipal Police Station, the Highway Patrol Group, and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) not to be negligent in their task to avoid any untoward incident especially at this time that the volume of vehicles plying the streets has tremendously increased resulting to heavy traffic,” Bongalonta said.
The mayor said it is important that appropriate traffic signs are put up and additional traffic and street lights are installed, especially in identified accident-prone areas, to avoid what happened to spouses Salvador and Victoria Motos two months ago along the Maharlika Highway here. Salvador was 86 years old while Victoria was 76.
Based on police investigation, Salvador was assisting his wife Victoria to be up on her knees after she stepped on an uneven surface
in the middle of the highway when a private van ran them over at about 7:00 o’clock in the evening of May 6 along the Mahalika highway in Bgy. Palestina here.
The couple was declared dead on arrival by attending physicians at NICC Doctors Hospital and Mother Seton Hospital, both in nearby Naga City, where the bodies of Salvador and Victoria were brought by the responding ambulances from the local government units of Barangay Palestina and the municipality of Pili, respectively.
The couple, according to Bongalonta, was living in the foreign country for so long a time until they decided to return to the Philippines to visit their family, friends, and relatives. It was learned that they had just come from Naga City where they attended a Holy Mass when the accident happened.
Named respondent by the Pili Municipal Police Station in the case of reckless imprudence resulting in double homicide is 73-year-old Elias Praxides Awa, a carpenter who was the driver of Suzuki Ertiga.