Home > Amiel Alcantara > how a cellphone contributed to the death of Amiel Alcantara

how a cellphone contributed to the death of Amiel Alcantara

these are eye-witness accounts:

the ateneo mom involved in this tragic accident was driving a Toyota Hi-Ace, these huge vans we see on the road. having asked her driver to get her own son, she was seated on the driver side, buckled up.

eyewitnesses saw her texting with her cellphone. then people saw her unbuckle her seat belt and she stooped down to get something on the floor of the van, presumably she dropped her cellphone and bent down to get it from the floor. it is in that position that led her to mistakenly step on the gas accelerator rather than the brakes.

the van she was driving pinned down  Amiel on the back of a CRV. Amiel furiously  hit on  the front of the van with his fists in a vain attempt to call the attention of the driver of the van that was pinning him to the back of the CRV.

this story makes a lot of sense as stooping down like that will make it easy for anyone to mistake the gas accelerator for the brakes.  it looked like the hi-ace van has an automatic transmission. that way, your body gets disoriented as to what pedal is on the left and what is on the right.

the van must have been engaged on “drive” and she was stepping on the brakes. when she stooped down to get something on the floor, her foot must have been removed from the brakes. and to recover, she must have quickly stepped on a pedal thinking it was still the brakes but was actually the accelerator.

let us hope that ateneo learns something from this and most specially people who drive cars/vehicles to pick up children from school.

~~~~

to everyone:

please join us in petitioning ateneo school authorities to imporve the safety of our sons in campus.

there are two ways to do this:

– send an email to amiels.footprints@gmail.com and copies of the petition letters will be emailed back to you. you may sign one or both and sent to fr. bautista, headmaster of Ateneo Grade School

– you can also sign the petition in this blog. click this link and follow instructions : https://wawam.wordpress.com/amiel-footprints-a-petition-from-parents-to-improve-safety-for-ours-sons-at-the-ateneo/

  1. antenna1
    February 25, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    amiel’s story made me cry. i do not know anyone from the alcantara family but amiel’s tragic death has made me shed tears. it must have been extremely painful for the parents.

    my prayers go for amiel and his family.

  2. roxanne
    February 25, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    this is horrible. kids are supposed to be safe in school. a very sad day for the ateneo community.

    my prayers go to amiel and the alcantara family.

  3. mike
    February 26, 2009 at 12:28 am

    since amiel was in a very critical condition after the accident, maybe it would have been appropriate to bring him to the nearest hospital. The nearest hospital would be Quirino Memorial Medical Center (aka Labor Hospital) as compared to New Era Hospital. Instances of death, every second counts in the possibility of reviving and resuscitating the victim.

  4. Rob
    February 26, 2009 at 4:32 am

    It’s very sad an unfortunate to read about accidents that somehow involve cell phones. So many of my own near-accidents have been around vehicles with a driver talking on a cell.

  5. February 26, 2009 at 10:12 am

    The Ateneo grounds is close to my heart. We have business dealings in the community, and I have a Grade 1 boy. The waiting area where Amiel was hit was exactly the same spot where my son and I would stand and wait for the driver. I just wonder, why in some areas in the Ateneo, when you park and don’t turn off the engine, you have to pay a fine of P500. And why, in this waiting area in the grade school, most cars are allowed to park and wait while engine is running? Why again, would one contribute to the Katipunan pollution, not to mention waste of gas? If true that the “killer” car is an automatic, why was it not put into neutral? no hand break? I find it so disturbing, that I lost appetite upon hearing Amiel’s death last Tuesday. This could have been a freak accident, but I honestly believe that someone had been terribly, very, very irresponsible. Suddenly, I thought, it could have been anyone. Could have been me, my manang, and my son. That night, I embraced my son and daughter so tight, while we said a prayer for Amiel and whole family.

  6. milen
    February 26, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    My deepest condolences to the Alcantara family. I know how it feels to lose a child and the best thing to do is to really pray to God for strength and guidance. Let us also pray for Ms, Torres and her family. They need our prayers as much as the Alacantara family because I am sure she did not will it to happen. This experience is very traumatic and it may have been any one of us who could have experienced the pain both families are going through now.

    This is the first in a very long while that i have been affected by the news and I could not sleep last night and cried for both families.

    May our Lord God bless them both and give them the strength and courage to see through this very tragic event.

  7. rose zapanta
    February 26, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Mike- I am a friend of the one who brought Amiel to the hospital. Appropriate hospital or not, what matters is that somebody helped. My friend was in her car just passing by to pick up her grade one son. When 3 cars before her the driver of Amiel was carrying the child. I’ve personally spoke with the driver at New Era and he said that nobody wanted to open their cars to help them. It was only my friend who took the courage to let them in and bring them to the hospital. I know this because she called me while on her way there telling me to get her grade one son and let him stay with me. You expect her to make a U-turn when in fact it was bumper to bumper that day? She was scared and also in a state of shock but had a heart to forget about her grade one son to help a stranger. I wasn’t there and you weren’t there either. So I think it’s but proper to stop commenting about what should have been done when fact of the matter is NOBODY WANTED TO HELP when they were asking for help.

  8. May
    February 26, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Mary Anne- I agree with you. When parked, engines should be shut off. It a school ground and it should be understood that children will suddenly pass by. Accidents can be prevented. The street in Ateneo is not a highway. As adults, we have to be responsible and take this in mind. If indeed that there was something wrong with the brakes of the car, then why use it still. Honestly, I only think about the Alcantara’s and how painful it is right now for them. They were just victims. Amiel was just an innocent victim of a very irresponsible adult.

  9. Olet
    February 26, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Miss Rose Zapata- I am so emotionalyy moved of how valiant your friend was. Yes, you were right for saying that this and that should have been done etc etc…For me. I salute your friend for what she has done for Amiel..Godbless!

  10. carbs
    February 26, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    Dapat naman kasi pinapatay ang makina. Marami kasing maarte na ayaw mainitan. I-considerate sa environment. Hindi lang environment ang pinapatay unti-unti, pati tao na rin.

    Let us pray for strength and comfort for the Alcantara family. Let us also pray for the child of Mrs. Torres. It also traumatic for him knowing that his mother killed a schoolmate, and everybody in school knows about it.

  11. ProfessorX
    February 26, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    Super tanga namang lady driver yon.

    If you are parked, you’re automatic transmission should be in Neutral or Parked positions even if the engine is running.

    If you drop something and would try to get it, one should first put the automatic transmission in Neutral. Pag naka-Drive ka, pag tinanggal mo paa mo sa brakes, aandar yon.

  12. ProfessorX
    February 26, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    it’s not the cellphone… it’s plain stupidity and lack of common-sense.

    she might have dropped her comb or wallet and commit the same accident.

  13. joy
    February 26, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    I have been sleeping with my sons since Tuesday night, alternating between praying and crying for Amiel and his family.

    When I pick up my son, I see boys playing with each other, confident and secure and happy in the Ateneo environment. I imagine Amiel feeling that way right before he got hurt. What right do we have as adults to shatter their security and innocence? We should be extra, extra careful when inside campus.

    My heart goes out to the Alcantaras.

  14. Mylene Lising
    February 26, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Oh, my God! So a cellphone was involved!

    I have just lost whatever little sympathy I had for the driver. She should burn in hell. She should fry. She should be burned at the stake!

    Considering she is a mother herself, what she did was totally irresponsible!!! What an idiot! Aren’t there enough warnings about driving and texting???

    What that woman did is unforgivable because of the blatant irresponsibility she exhibited.

    I didn’t want to judge her at first. But now, knowing that she was texting–hell, there is no punishment heavy enough.

    I’m very emotional about this because I am a parent too, and no parent deserves to go through the pain that has been inflicted on Amiel’s parents by this inconsiderate act of this irresponsible woman that has resulted in the unspeakable horror that has happened to Amiel.

    What she did is CRIMINAL.

    I feel for the Torres kid. But his mom…she should be held accountable. Nothing less than maximum penalty should do.

  15. teresa
    February 27, 2009 at 2:12 am

    as a mom im to much hurt with what had happen to Amiel. knowing that this could happen to anyone of us, maybe this is an accident but an innocent child die and his family were in pain and all people who have heard this news have shed tears for Amiel. This have make me realize that we should slow down we should not always be in a hurry or occupied because of this accident can occur. im sure this inccident have cause pain also to the Torres family, knowing that their love one might go to jail….I just hope that Ms. Torres would be brave enought to face the consequence. “GOD bless us all.”

  16. Carmen
    February 27, 2009 at 8:34 am

    As a mom, i am extremely saddened by this incident. I can feel what Amiel’s parents feel at this point. Every time there was news about this incident from the tv stations, i can’t help but shed tears.

    Kudos to the lady who helped in bringing Amiel to the hospital, you are one of a kind.

  17. Tzie
    February 27, 2009 at 8:49 am

    I was also at the wake last night, thursday. I know Amiel’s father. It is true that the woman has not apologized to the family. Amiel’s father visited the woman but she just said something like “wala akong magagawa, it was an accident, ganon e.” Based on my conversations with the people there, including Yaya Tata, it seems that yes, initially, there may be no intention to hit Amiel and his companions but it seems that there was already an intent to kill Amiel after hitting him initially dahil inatrasan pa daw sya. Would you believe? Para syang bus driver na ang gawain ay patayin na lang ang mga nabubunggo nilang tao dahil mas mura daw ang damages na babayaran. That woman deserves to be jailed all her life! Justice for Amiel and his family!

  18. chiqui
    February 27, 2009 at 8:58 am

    I think justice should be served. They should not let the killer Theresa Torres be out of the jail. Because once they do this she and her family might just leave, and go abroad. Mrs. Theresa Torres should be imprisoned for life. “Buhay ang nawala dahil sa kanya, dapat panagutan din niya ng buhay niya.

  19. Ryan Ericson Canlas
    February 27, 2009 at 9:17 am

    I came from UP and not from Ateneo and I am a father as well but my son is not an ATENISTA but from Lourdes School of Mandaluyong. I write because what had happened to AMIEL was something that made me realizes a lot of things not just about the incident but about FATHERHOOD.

    The story focuses on AMIEL’s FATHER as well as a FATHER & SON school activity has been nearing. We as fathers may not at all be so showy and emotional to our sons because of being pre-occupied with our roles as providers and heads of our families but then this has made me re-think that our focus no matter what should always be with our kids – with our family.

    Each day counts. I often would kiss my son and tell him how I love him being the only child. I could just imagine how painful it is for AMIEL’s FATHER to have bid farewell to his son after breakfast as a normal daily routine without expecting that moment was their last. I cried while driving home.

    I must have heard the news late but I cannot stop thinking about it. Imagine a school so expensive where you expect that traffic enforcers are regulating the flow of vehicles because kids from known and from ordinary families are around the place which they have to protect, but then there is none.

    I have not heard in any of the news article about the school having its own ambulance or experienced in-house medics attending to the need of the child. It was the lady whom we all do not know who volunteered to help the child and the driver to take them to the hospital.

    Worse is that as mentioned, no one even wanted to open their doors for the driver who was walking and carrying the bloodied child for help. It is sad. Imagine how people can be heroes in the split of a second and how some chooses to be numb and careless. Why? Is it because they do not want to stain their nice car’s interiors? Too bad.

    I do not intend to blame or raise issues here. The point here is that all we all as parents are responsible for our kids. More so, as drivers, we too are responsible to ensure that we maintain safety and caution. Now, we can never revert things back. We need to move forward and learn from this. AMIEL’s life has a good purpose indeed and that is to awaken us all about safety, care, time and love for our kids.

    As I reached home, I asked for my son. He was playing hide and seek with me as usual. I search all the possible hiding places until I found him. I never asked him about his school works or about what news on BANDILA as he is fond of watching news. No words were said… I just hugged my son so tight and kissed him so many times as tears fall.

    I love my son and I would not want such thing to happen to him even when he is already old and on his own. Thus, as I write this, I am writing to the officials of Lourdes School of Mandaluyong as well to improve pedestrian safety and proper parking regulations and perhaps put PEDESTRIAN LANES and MARKINGS along SHAW BLVD. and in front of CITYLAND SHAW TOWER to ensure safety.

    Thank you AMIEL for waking us up. You will forever be remembered in our hearts.

    RYAN ERICSON CANLAS
    SAP Practice Manager – SAP COE
    International SAP BASIS Consultant
    ryanericsongcanlas@yahoo.com

  20. February 27, 2009 at 9:22 am

    ryan – that was beautiful. as a dad, i share your feelings and thoughts.

  21. niki
    February 27, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Kung ang mga Alcantara ay nawalan ng mabuting anak. Dapat ang mga torres ay mawalan ng masamang ina. Dahil siya ay napakasinungaling.

  22. man
    February 27, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    My son is almost of the same age as Amiel. He is our one and only. Every time he leaves home for school, I feel like part of me is tugged along with him. My day is not complete without seeing him off.

    “wala akong magagawa, it was an accident, ganon e.” God help me if I see this woman. I may not be as restrained as the Alcantaras. She should be off the road, off the school, off civilization. What is so important about that call ? This is no accident. Stupidity is not an accident. Dapat sa cellphone mo, i-pukpok sa ulo mo.

  23. February 27, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    When i heard the news about Amiel,I was scared that the same thing would happen to my son even inside school campus. I hug my son tightly !!!My son is from San Beda Alabang but i offer prayer for Amiel and his family. To Mrs Torres it would be a brave act if you apologized for the damage you done even that is just an accident, you are a mom…and if that would happen to your son,I’m sure you will feel the pain of what the Alcantara’ family is going through now… For us parents and also the drivers, we should be extra careful and responsible when inside the school campus. To Amiel, may you rest and peace!!!!

  24. strawpooh
    February 27, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    driving is a big responsibility in one’s self, to your passengers, and on the road. that teresa torres is so irresponsible,common sense nalang, school zone yun,she shouldn’t have driven fast inside coz anytime and anywhere a child might just cross, bata mga yan eh, so dapat sya ang cautious! and may driver pala sya, bakit sya ang nag dadrive ng van? hindi pa cguro marunong talagang mag drive yan taong yan nagdunong dunungan nag damay pa ng inosente! to hell with her, dapat makulong sya lifetime sentence dapat yan. if not for the yaya, my god she could have killed 32 more kids,imagine? jana,javier and the other friend plus the yaya pa!!!! no settlement for this i hope, my prayers for amiel, i really can’t imagine how the parents of amiel feel , sobrang sakit lalo pa patapos na ang school year, parents are thinking of a vacation or summer activities sana for their families tapos ganyan mangyayari. MAKULONG KA SANA MA. TERESA TORRES!!!! KILLER!!!!

  25. strawpooh
    February 27, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    PITY ON THE TORRES’ SON, DAPAT CGURO TRANSFER NALANG SYA NG SCHOOL,GRABE. THE CHILD MIGHT BE TRAUMATIZED KNOWING HER MOM KILLED HIS FELLOW STUDENT! ALL PEOPLE WOULD ASK HIM AND BLAME HIS MOM FOR THE DEATH OF AMIEL.

  26. strawpooh
    February 27, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    it so sad that our fellow filipinos wouldn’t want to help in times of emergencies. as titignan lang nila at mag usisa anong meron at nakatunganga imbes na umisip ng first aid to save the victim!

  27. Hernan M. Hormillosa
    February 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    It starts with respect for the dignity and uniqueness of every person regardless of age, skin color, religion, ethnicity, political persuasion, or gender. There is yet a lot of things Filipinos need to learn about these things. In this case, let me zero in on the fact that Amiel is a boy and children in this country are more often seen and not heard – worse, in his case, not even noticed! It’s reverse ageism ( age discrimination ), compared to developed /industrialized countries, where they trash old people as useless after having served their useful years. We need to respect our children better, It starts with listening to them with our eyes and hearts. Was he overlooked because he looked asthmatic or non-athletic — a by-product of our cosmetic/materialistic/skin-whitening society? Is a non-living cell phone more important than the safety of a human being/student /child of God inside a school campus? We sorely lack the preventive mindset. Look, our people, even the rich, are dropping dead young from coronary heart disease, colon cancer, and stroke from eating kare-kare, and from pancreatitis and cirrhosis due to drunkeness ( hindi bangungot! )! In New York, use of cell phones are now banned while driving and drivers are fined due to high incidence of accidents. Let’s make sure something good comes out of this terrible tragedy by learning some hard lessons. My deepest sympathy goes to the bereaved family of Amiel. May he rest in peace….

  28. Galleon
    February 27, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    KUNG TOTOO MAN TO, AND WHICH BY THE WAY IS VERY BELIEVABLE. VS. HINDI GUMANA ANG BRAKES?? (O COME ON!) ATENEO AND ALCANTARAS- PURSUE RECKLESS IMPRUDENCE RESULTING TO HOMICIDE! MAS MARAMING MATAUHAN, MAS MARAMING BATA MA SAVE IF YOU PURSUE JUSTICE. THEN, YOU CAN THINK ABOUT FORGIVENESS LATER. AGREE WITH man, ProfessorX. I THINK THE PERSON WAS MORE TANGA AT LAZY DRIVER THAN ANYTHING ELSE. SHE PROBABLY WAS NOT A REGULAR DRIVER KASI MAY HIRED DRIVER SYA… ANYWAY THE WORLD IS JUST WAITING FOR AN HONEST AND SINCERE RESPONSE FROM HER. SO FAR SHE’S MORE DEFENSIVE, DISMISSIVE, ELUSIVE AND SELFISH. ANG TUNAY NA MABUTING TAO HINDI GANITO ANG ASAL KAPAG NAKAPATAY NG BATA!

  29. chiqui
    February 27, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Just heard the news from ABS CBN tonight, about Theresa Torres who is a single mom. Pinalalabas na lang yan ng kampo niya para kaawaan ang pamilya niya. Bakit hindi ba sila naawa sa pamilya ng Alcantara. Dapat lang niyang pagbayaran sa kulungan ang ginawa niya. Siya lang daw ang nagtataguyod sa mga anak niya wala ng iba. At nagaalala raw siya sa mga anak niya dahil walang kasama. Tama na ang mga arte niya at ng mga kampo niya. Dapat niyang panagutan ang ginawa niya. Diyos na ang bahala sa mga anak niya. Kung makaalpas siya dito sa kasong ito. Konsiyensiya na lang niya ang papatay sa kanya!

  30. MA Girl
    February 27, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    You know, you shouldn’t be too judgemental about people and don’t believe in hear say. Hindi mo naman nakita kung talagang gumagamit ng cellphone si Mrs. Torres nung nangyari yun. I am sure nobody wanted something like this to happen and the mother is also suffering especially now that she is in jail and being persecuted by many people just like you.I’m sure the Torres child is greatly traumatized too.kawawa rin sha. My heart of course goes out to Amiel and his family pero ang nakakagulat ay may mga taong imbes tumulong o ipagdasal na lang ang dalawang pamilya eh kung anu ano pa ang sinasabi, parang mga pharisees. Sana Lahat ng nagpapaka self righteous jan, maexperience din yun nararamdaman ni Torres ngayon pag may nangyaring accident na di nila ginusto.

    • February 28, 2009 at 6:37 pm

      the cellphone bit are eyewitness reports.

      if it wasn’t a cellphone, what can be a plausible explanation why she mistook the accelerator for the brakes? and why was she at high speed?

  31. cecille
    February 27, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    yung anak ni torres hindi pa pumapasok sa ateneo mula noong aksidente. kasama ni torres yung anak nya kung saan siya naka-detain.

  32. chiqui
    February 27, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Huwag mo nang ipagtanggol si Theresa Torres. Halata naman kamaganak ka o kaibigan. Dapat lang kasi magsabi na lang si Theresa Torres ng totoo. huwag na siyang mag alibi pa .

  33. Reggie Lim
    February 27, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    I agree with MA Girl, 100 percent. Let us not be judgemental like modern day Pharisees. Let us just learn from the tragic incident to be more loving to our children and also to take greater care in exercising our privilege to drive, as safety, not only of ourselves but also of others, depend on our actions while on the wheel. Let us offer our prayers for Amiel, and his family for their great loss, and for the Torreses to overcome their traumatic experience. Accidents happen and it is very unfortunate that a life was lost, but looking at the big picture, all of us know that everything happens according to God’s will . . . not a sparrow falls to the ground without our Father knowing it . . . I hope and pray that forgiveness will be sought and given by the parties concerned .

  34. arkizet
    February 28, 2009 at 1:13 am

    I feel sorry for the family of amiel. it is a tragic incident when a young life is taken away suddenly. it saddened me when I read the news about this accident. and now I fear for the safety of my kids coz this incident proves that accident do happen in places where you least expect it to happen.

    as for ms. torres, it’s not an excuse to hurt someone just because she is a single mom. I, myself is also a single mother. she should have keep in mind who will take care of her kid when she’s gone. that alone would have made her more careful coz you wouldn’t do anything that you would not like your child to experience. now this incident leaves her kid traumatized & suffering. her kid also suffered coz of her irresponsibility.

    yeah she’s right when she said “wala ako magagawa. aksidente un”. yeah she can’t do anything about it anymore but she can be more sympathetic to the family of amiel. instead of being so callous to mr alcantara. a heart-felt sorry would have made a difference. nobody wanted an accident to happen. asking for their forgiveness wouldn’t hurt either.

    I hope everyone learns a valuable lesson from this unfortunate incident. I wish I could hug & kiss my children at this very moment but I can’t. I just pray for their safety always & also for all of my family. we should always cherish the times we spent with them.

    to the alcantara family my condolences & prayers. may the Lord continue to guide & keep you in His warm embrace during these though times. and may He grant you the justice that you & amiel rightfully deserve.

    – parent of students from san beda alabang
    (singapore)

  35. becky
    February 28, 2009 at 2:06 am

    “Sana lahat ng mga nagpapaka self righteous jan, maexperience din yun nararamdaman ni Torres ngayon pag may nangyaring accident na di nila ginusto.”

    MA Girl, alam mo, kung sakaling may maaksidente dahil sa katangahan ko, hindi ako mag-iimbento ng kung anu-anong palusot para makaiwas sa kulong, at lalong hindi ako magkakaron ng kapal ng mukha para sabihing “wala akong magagawa, it was an accident, gano’n e”. OMG naman, pinagtatanggol pa ba yung ganyang klaseng tao?

  36. ateneo father
    February 28, 2009 at 2:46 am

    first of all, just because you did not intend the result of your actions, doesnt make it an accident. an accident is when a child dies after getting struck by lightning. when a child is hit and pinned under a van which “suddenly lurched” in bumper to bumper unmoving traffic in a parking lot of a school at dismissal time, and the van goes on to cause damage to 4 other vehicles– thats criminal negligence. you dont need to prove negligence. it speaks for itself.

    according to torres’ statement to the police, she was just traveling at 5 kms per hour, and her brakes failed. at 5 kph, its impossible to inflict the amount of damage that she did. clearly she is a LIAR. how can you not judge her for that? she took a life, she was clearly at fault (unless you think amiel deliberately threw himself at that hi-ace van and crawled under its tires) then she LIES about it. how can you not persecute her for that? and she says she also deserves some sympathy. if she wants sympathy, she should first own up to her criminal negligence. naghihirap din daw yung pamilya niya dahil sa aksidenteng ito. boo hoo hoo. naghihirap daw mga anak niya kasi yaya lang ang kasama. eh ano kayang paghihirap yung naramdaman ni amiel nung mga huling sandali niya, pagkatapos gulungan ng van ni torres yung ulo niya?

    anong klaseng nanay yan. anong klaseng tao yan. she should just shut up and plead guilty already.

  37. February 28, 2009 at 3:14 am

    There are a lot of lessons learned from this tragic incident. Most of the parents are in rage about the “cellphone”, the “failed brakes” the killer mom, the school’s inefficient system etc. On a lighter note, you should hear what the children are talking about. This reflects how innocently said but the hotdog would somehow play a significant role in their story. I heard a version about the hotdog rolling after Amiel was hit, there was another one who said he was biting on the hotdog and didn’t see the van coming and there was one who said he had to pick up the hotdog that fell that’s why he wasn’t able to get out of the way. There was even a mom who mentioned she was buying her son hotdog the same time the boys did. Hay naku! What is the moral lesson of the story? Don’t buy your son a hotdog? Don’t take this seriously I am not as insensitive as you think. It’s just that we need to listen to our children and process their feelings in detail. It’s not the hotdog but it was really a freak accident. Everyone should exercise caution because it is so hard to do two things at the same time. I am so sorry for Amiel and his family. I would like to think that he was instantly brought to heaven by his angel and did not suffer. We will surely miss you.

  38. Cookie
    February 28, 2009 at 3:59 am

    I am from the US. If this incident happened here, that Mrs. Torres lady would’ve gotten multiple lawsuits, pay numerous and large fines and will be locked up in jail. Even if she insists it was an accident, she should have the decency to apologize to Amiel’s family and pay respect to the little boy she killed.

  39. February 28, 2009 at 7:24 am

    This is horrible what an irresponsible driver she should be put behind bars and now allow to drive ever again.

  40. cherylle
    February 28, 2009 at 8:39 am

    This is such a tragic incident. I have a 10-year old nephew and I can’t imagine how devastating it would be for us if he had been in Amiel’s position. I hold so many fond memories of Ateneo and have always considered it a safe haven for students (as I once was over a decade ago). Thus, it came as a shock that something like this can happen within the campus. I am not related nor friends with either family, but I find it even more shocking how people who were not even at the site can so easily jump to conclusions and condemn Mrs Torres. Yes, we have heard accounts of people who were there (from our friends, friends of friends, or whoever we happened to meet or talk to since everyone is talking about this). But I hope we all realize that one person’s account of an event is just his perspective of what happened, colored by his circumstances (i.e., where he was located or what he was doing at the time of the incident) and is rarely ever an accurate account of the entire incident. I hope we can all exercise some degree of responsibility when posting comments about this tragic event, forwarding hearsay accounts, and judging Mrs Torres’ intentions and character. We all sympathize with the Alcantara’s and their great loss. No parent should ever bear the burden of outliving their children. However, name calling not only lowers the level of discourse but also demeans the memory of Amiel.

  41. keth noche
    February 28, 2009 at 11:47 am

    after that incident, mas takot ako na iwanan mga kids ko. I cried after i learned the news.
    like most of you, i kissed my kids and hugged them. stayed with them all night.
    i realized that i should make every day of their lives special.
    they are precious and God given. And only God will take them back.
    Amiel , your life may be short but you’ve touched many lives.

  42. angry ateneo mom
    February 28, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    I believe Mr. Alcantara when he said that no apologies were heard from this woman…Imagine nakapatay na siya and she could not even say sorry? why? napakahirap bang isambit ang salitang iyon? Now we are fed with this sad story of being a single mom, very hardworking, not depending on anyone but herself…so what! Please I am not the least bit moved by this creatively crafted damage control by this woman’s lawyer. Obvious naman di sya gumawa ng statement of apology which was read sa news last night. pinirmahan lang nya para di na masyado dumami namumuhi sa kanyang kasuklam-suklam na asal. My co-parent who was at the sight of the accident told me kung di lang babae, nasuntok na niya ang taong iyon. Arrogante…anong ipinagmamalaki niya? Payo ko sa theresa torres na ito, ilipat na lang niya ang anak niya sa ibang paaralan at di na katanggap-tanggap sa Ateneo ang isang magulang na katulad niya matapos ipakita niya ang kawalan ng konsensya habang kaharap ang ama ni Amiel. At di na rin katanggap-tanggap ang isang driver na katulad niya sa loob ng campus, baka makapatay pa uli siya…

  43. Another Angry Ateneo Mom
    February 28, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    I agree with you angry Ateneo mom.

  44. February 28, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    for those who want things to be changed at the ateneo to ensure the safety of children in school:

    > send an email to ateneo school authorities and express your thoughts : president@admu.edu.ph

    > sign and send a petition letter to ateneo school authorities. send an email to amiels.footprints@gmail.com to get a copy of the petition letter

  45. Hernan M. Hormillosa
    March 1, 2009 at 12:40 am

    Let’s give Amiel’s death an even deeper meaning by focussing the spotlight on millions of other children outside Ateneo’s gate who are dying, albeit more slowly, from preventable disease, malnutrition, illegal drug-induced stupor ( to soothe their momentary/daily existential/physical pains ), and the terrible, scandalous hunger for love and respect for their basic dignity as healthy, hunger-pang-free members of Philippine/human society. They have no voice and silently suffer… When will apathy end? If people cannot see dying Amiel as a neighbor, then we all have a very long way in recognizing those who live near Payatas, the ‘ riles,’ and esteros as neighbors… Who is my neighbor? Maybe time to let go of tribal living in the 21st Century of iPhones? So much high-tech communication gadgets and so little listening!?>&#$@&* Horribly ironic, no?

  46. March 1, 2009 at 5:47 am

    Regie- God is a loving God. The evil that befalls us did not come from God. Likewise, I do not believe that God had planned for Amiel to have this kind of tragic death. Amiel’s death is caused by someone’s gross negligence and extreme stupidity which should not be attributed to God or as part of His design. There is no other explanation that could be derived from what had happened, except that Torres obvioulsy lacked the foresight and discipline which led to Amiel’s death. Worse, she does not have the temerity to speak the truth (which everyone could readily and logically surmise) and tried to exculpate herself with lame excuses.

    She is not the sole culprit. The school also has an obligation to the parents to ensure the safety of their children while they are in the school’s premises. True, not everything could be predicted, especially those circumstances beyond our control, but it is not the case here.

    I hope you will not experience the loss of a child like some of us did. And I will have to tell you that I believe in a loving God who would not have planned such grievous loss on the part of mothers like me, Miel’s mom and the rest.

  47. Mylene Lising
    March 1, 2009 at 8:54 am

    So what if she is a single mom? Should she be absolved of her crime because of that? It was a CRIME nothing less.

    If you are in a car, it is your responsibility to handle that machine properly. When you are in a parked car with the motor running, you put it on neutral and pull up the handbrake. If you are in a car in a parking lot full of kids, you exercise even more extra precautions.

    Hindi puedeng gamiting excuse ang katangahan. Kung may driver’s license ka, a certain level of responsibility is expected of you.

    Interior designer daw yung Theresa Torres? I’d like to check if she has a license to practice as an interior designer. I’m just curious about this person’s character. At kung nagpapanggap lang syang ID na wala palang lisensya, that will say a lot.

    So I’m judging her, so what? So far, from everything that I’ve read about that woman, I haven’t come across the word “REMORSE”.

    IKULONG SI THRESA TORRES AT LAHAT NG GUMAGAMIT NG CELLPHONE HABANG UMAANDAR AND SASAKYAN.

  48. anton
    March 1, 2009 at 10:55 am

    justice should be served!

  49. mel
    March 1, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    I find this incident to be truly tragic in more ways than one. First is the pain brought about by the loss of a loved one, more so a child, it is perhaps the greatest pain that anyone should have to go through, and I wish to express my sympathies to Amiel’s parents as well as everyone whose life he was a part of . Perhaps we can find comfort by praying to mama Mary and ask her to help them understand Gods will in all this, as she too suffered deeply at her son’s loss.
    The other thing that I find equally tragic about this is how we can call ourselves christians, when some of the comments I have read and sadly, coming from Ateneo parents lack the charity that we are called to live by our faith.
    I am in agreement with Cherylle that we seem to be very quick in judging Ms. Torres on the basis of hearsay, and even if there is any basis to this hearsay, I think we are still committing an injustice on how many of us have already sentenced her based on our emotions rather than our objectivity.
    If we would just take a moment to put ourselves in her situation, I don’t think anyone can honestly say that it was intentionally done. Who in their right mind would like to be in the position that she is in right now. I am sure having been responsible for the death of a child is enough to torment anyone, added to this is the pain she has inflicted on the Alcantara family, not to mention her own family . She may have come through as being defensive, but did anyone stop to consider that perhaps it is the survival instinct of someone who has no one to depend on but herself, being a single parent. I am not defending her but I do believe we need to go deeper than what we see at the surface. It is easy for us to judge others when the standards that we use are our own, but perhaps we forget that not everyone is as blessed as we are.I believe our faith asks us to condemn the sin but to be merciful with the sinner.
    In the spirit of Lent perhaps we best pray for all those concerned in this tragic event and take the time out to take a good look at ourselves, instead of being quick with judging others.

    • melvin antonio
      March 1, 2009 at 9:49 pm

      i accept torres did not intend to kill the boy. but it was through her negligence than caused amiel’s death. justice must be served.

      • cherylle
        March 2, 2009 at 11:55 pm

        I think Mel did not ask that Mrs Torres be exculpated from guilt, but merely receive some understanding. Justice before mercy, I agree. It saddens me that some of us are unable to accept the possibility that a good person can do a bad thing, that Mrs Torres is more than the negligent act she committed. It is unfortunate that her entire life is now summed up by the untimely death of a child, and people appear to be unwilling to see her as a human being just like you and me struggling through her frailties. Yes, I hope I never have to suffer the loss of a child just like the Alcantara’s. I also hope that I never have to bear the burden of killing a child (even if unintentional) and living in public ridicule and shame.

        People seem to be so unwilling to forgive Mrs Torres because she has not shown the degree of remorse we all expect. I just hope we have all shown enough remorse to deserve God’s forgiveness and love.

  50. jonas
    March 2, 2009 at 12:56 am

    ang dami daming ng mga opinion… pero … ano ginagawa natin…

    ang daming tao gustong icrucify si mrs. torres bitin na lang natin siya ng patiwarik…… pero… di ba tayo nagkakamali rin…

    ang daming tao naaawa kay amiel… pero … diba kapiling na niya ang ating dakilang lumikha…. sino sa atin ang nakaalala sa mga anak ni mrs torres… di ba mas nakakaawa sila….feeling nila nasa impiyerno sila…. dahil sa mga mapanghusgan mata…

    as a parent … kung sa akin nangyari yan… ang first instinct ko…. pa salvage na lang kung sino manakit ng anak ko… pero… ngayon… nahimas masan ako… subukan ko munang unawain yun kabilang side… (tsaka ko na lang pa salvage)… biro lang no.!

    Ramdam ko yun feeling ng mga anak ni mrs torres.. siguro feeling nila wala na silang kinabukasan.. sira na buhay nila…nagiisa na lang sila… sana bilang kristiano… maski konti…. unawain natin sila…

    Ilagay muna natin ang sarili natin sa kanilang situasyon… mag salamin muna tayo…

    si mrs torres ay biktima rin…..

    a victim of circumtsance… the perineal parking and traffic problem in ateneo..

    a victim of public apathy… wala tayong paki alam… kibit balikat… kanya kanya…estudiyante pa lang ako may problema na… ngayon may anak na ako sa ateneo pareho parin ang problema….. wala tayo ginagawa para ma solve yun problema sa loob mismo ng ateneo…

    a victim of stupidity… by her own doing…

    ang dami daming ng mga opinion… pero … ano ginagawa natin…

    manonod na lang ba tayo.??

  51. angry ateneo mom
    March 2, 2009 at 9:56 am

    I agree with Mylene Lising…para dun sa mga nagbibigay ng payo na wag husgahan si Theresa Torres, yan ay inyong opinyon. Igalang na lang natin ang opinyon ng lahat ng nagbibigay ng komentaryo dito. Oo, siguro hindi tama ang paghusga ng tao, ngunit sa pagkakataong ito, makikita natin ang character ng isang tao na nasangkot sa isang malagim na trahedya na klarong resulta ng kanyang kapabayaan, yan ang isyu. Bilang isang magulang na may anak sa Ateneo, ang nasa isip ko ay di para sa kapakanan lamang ng mga nasangkot sa trahedyang ito, kundi para sa kabuuan ng Ateneo Grade School community dahil labis na natakot at nasaktan ang mga mag-aaral at mga magulang sa sinapit ni Amiel. Ang lahat ng pinagdaraanan ni Torres ay resulta ng kanyang kapabayaan habang nasa loob ng campus at di maka-Kristyanong pakikiharap sa ama ni Amiel. She is getting what she deserves!

  52. Reggie Lim
    March 2, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Yes Regina, God is a loving God, and the evil that befalls does not come from Him. However, He does allow such incidents, which from our point of view is ‘evil’ to happen. In the Book of Job of the bible, Satan had to ask for God’s permission to test Job on two occasions, and on both occassions, God permitted him, provided Satan did not kill Job. Because of this test that God allowed, not only did Job lose all he had but all his children as well–seven sons and three daughters. His wife even suggested that Job curse God and die. His friends even condemned him as they believe Job must have commited some serious wrongdoing to deserve the suffering he was undergoing.

    We mere mortals, like Job’s friends, can only speculate on why it happened, but only God in His infinite wisdom knows the reason why. But I assure you that God, who is a loving God, allowed it for the good of those around Miel, including us, who are mere observers from a distance whom God has touched through the tragic incident, if we believe what’s written in Isaiah: “. . . for my plans are not to harm you, but to prosper you . . .”

    While nothing happens in this world without God allowing it, it is very sad that the negligence of someone behind the wheel resulted in such a tragic incident. I just hope and pray that forgiveness will be genuinely sought with a humble heart by the Torreses, so that forgiveness may also be given by the bereaved Alcantara family.

    Like you, I believe that God is a good God, and I know in my heart that God took Miel away, to His bossom, just before he can experience pain and spared him from all the agony. Miel is now an angel in God’s presence, and isn’t that the best place to be? We all pray and hope to go to heaven someday. I just hope we learn to accept God’s timetable that that someday for Miel was on that tragic day. Only when we accept that, that God is in control, will healing take place in our hearts.

    May our loving God bless us and wipe out all feelings of anger, hatred, resentment and animosity from our hearts, specially during this Lenten season, and replace it with loving and forgiving hearts.

  53. Ria
    March 2, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    i hate knowing i was right…i had a feeling that a cellphone was involved in the incident….

    like many who have heard about amiel’s tragedy, i too was saddened, angered and even disgusted by what has happened in what we would assume is a “safe”place.

    however, i am not only saddened and affected by the accident. i have felt embarrassment, shame and regret because i too have been guilty of texting and doing other things while driving. im sure many of us have…we just have been lucky that we’re not in the place mrs. torres is in now. dont get me wrong: i am not saying she is not at fault or that she should be absolved of her mistakes. she definitely should face up to the consequences of her actions and yes, being given a license and sitting in the drivers seat of a car carries with it serious responsibilities.

    with that said, i posted an article in my blog about the lessons i have learned from amiel’s tragedy. i invite you to read it at http://yapatoots.blogspot.com/2009/03/harsh-awakening-lessons-from-amiels.html and hope that somehow, you too will learn valuable lessons from this tragedy.

    my deepest condolences to Amiel’s family.

  54. solar
    June 21, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    ON CELLPHONES & ATENEO MOTORISTS

    I would like to know if Ateneo authorities have placed signages in the campus strictly prohibiting drivers from using cellphones while driving their vehicles inside the campus ? It must not be forgotten that Amiel’ s death was the tragic result of an Ateneo mom’s irresponsibility because she allegedly used her cellphone while driving. Had she been more responsible and caring about the welfare of others, Amiel would still be alive !

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