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news video on amiel alcantara car accident

  1. February 27, 2009 at 12:32 am

    thanks very much ,, nice post

  2. dr. rhodora ledesma
    February 27, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    My heartfelt condolences to the family of Amiel Alcantara.

    This accident should serve as a wake up call not just to Ateneo but to other schools as well. There should be a systematic way of dealing with the traffic inside and outside the campuses to prevent something so tragic as this incident.

    We should all make a conserted effort not just to improve the traffic situation but to intensify our vigilance in keeping the children safe as they enter and leave the campuses. We should all work to make something positive out of this tragedy.

    To the family of Amiel, take courage. We are all praying for you and Amiel.

    • March 6, 2009 at 7:16 am

      On irresponsible drivers and faulty-generalizing news reports

      I don’t usually rant on blogs unless whatever I am mad about has some social significance. And this one has. So at 3:22AM, the ranting starts.

      With the Atenean community, I express my condolences to the family of Amiel Alcantara, the Grade 4 kid who was killed in an accident inside the Ateneo campus. There is a semblance of justice to have the driver jailed for a couple of days. She is still pressed with charges. And perhaps the most difficult punishment she will have to bear is the fact that she knows how it would feel to have her own Grade 4 kid killed in an accident – especially with the gross negligence. Guilt will never set her free, until the time she is granted forgiveness by those she has so gravely offended.

      But that is NOT what I am mad about. It’s how some news shows are dealing with the story.

      There is one particular report about the Amiel incident that really offended me, not because I am Atenean, but because it’s just plain crazy. The other night, Joey Villarama delivered a report on how the death of Amiel translates into the issue of the traffic inside Ateneo. He mentioned how effective the blog (that Amiel’s parents started, he said) is on surfacing the issue of traffic. It has received hundreds of responses, he said. And even the president of Ateneo replied. He even interviewed a woman (who I found out is a teacher in High School) who said that Ateneo traffic has been an issue for a long time, and that, if I may quote, “the outsiders *laughs*, the people from outside say that we are causing traffic in the area”. I do not think I misread the laugh, but it was a laugh that reflected how the “we” are different from “them”. I think she realized that too late into the comment.

      Okay, and not okay.

      Okay that yes the traffic issue is something we have to fix. But not okay that the report was not made with objectivity. It did not say how the University Physical Plant is limiting the issue of car stickers in Ateneo to control the traffic. It did not interview Miralao (if he’s still UPP Officer) about how students are encouraged to car pool in order to minimize the vehicle density in the campus. In the report, it felt like the University is turning a blind eye on the traffic for all these years. Mentioning the president’s reply in the blog is misleading — it insinuates that only because of the death of Amiel that traffic became an issue.

      Okay that we are called to how, possibly, matapobre and elitist some Ateneans could get. One person in the family, one vehicle. I know a couple of people like this. Even brothers and sisters cannot come up with their own carpool. It’s not about getting the status of having one’s own car. It’s thinking ahead, being practical. And still students rant all the time how far the parking spaces are… Fact is, UPP places parking lots far from the main campus areas to avoid accidents, and so the traffic won’t mess up with your study enviroment. Imagine if the walkways in between the then-SocSci-now-CommDept and Library are filled with traffic. Can you seriously study in those areas with the sounds and smell of cars piling up…

      And definitely not okay that that particular report equated the child’s life with traffic. The greater issue is gross negligence. And of a parent for that matter. I don’t know if the report was desperately trying to “increase the levels” or “deepen” the issue, but it was a cheap shot. If I were Amiel’s family I’d be offended. The child’s life isn’t about the traffic. It’s about how irresponsible drivers could really be, even inside a campus.

      I, for one, had been a victim of a vehicular accident inside Ateneo when I was a freshman. I came from debate training (around 8PM) and was crossing the University Road (near Gate3 exit) when a speeding jeepney swept me off the pedestrian lane. I lost consciousness. The next thing I remember was ‘waking’ up on top of the jeepney’s hood, with the broken glasses of the lights and other ornaments of the jeepney all over me. Apparently, the jeepney was a high school service vehicle, and that night, the driver was quite drunk.

      Ateneo handled me well that night. Took me to a hospital (where I learned antics on a wheelchair). From what I know, that jeepney lost its license to operate for Ateneo, and the driver banned from Ateneo for life. The guards asked me if I were to pursue a case against the driver, but no. I just asked him to pay for all the medical bills, the medicine, the set of bandages, and a can of Sprite while I was in the hospital.

      I am alive and I’m happy about it. And I am witness to the successful adjustments inside the campus to fix the traffic (and the unsuccessful attempt of MMDA to fix the traffic outside *laugh* you know, like outside. Blah.) But the point is, the issue isn’t necessarily the traffic. It’s the gross negligence. It’s the disregard to safety of students by drivers.

      And the question now is how to filter out the bad fruits. How to keep these kinds of drivers off the campus.

      It’s not the traffic. It’s a corollary concern, but it’s definitely not the issue we have to focus our attention to.

      • xyz1two3
        March 6, 2009 at 8:38 am

        to czarina – first of all, i am glad you survived and is well after your accident near ateneo.

        now to the points:

        that abs-cbn news footage you refer to was very clear, said at the beginning, that this blogsite was set up by ateneo parents, and not the alcantara family as you have written.

        it is true that traffic inside the campus has been a big issue. many CPRs at the AGS have said they have raised this issue to the school authorities almost on a yearly basis. so, in many ways you can say the school has turned a blind eye on it given that few changes have been made. there have been changes but they were really minimal.

        giving high fees on car stickers will not discourage families from using cars to bring their children to school. most parents find it a neccessity as it gives them more comfort and reassurance that their children will reach the school and reach home safely. parents will continue to pay whatever fees the school imposes on the car stickers. they look at cost of car stickers as part of the cost of enrolling your children to the ateneo, exactly like the cost of books.

        the school needs to accept the reality that parents prefer to bring their children to school in their own vehicles. that will not change and there is very good reason why it will not. given that, the school needs to adjust and work on that. they need to respond to that preference – adapt traffic rules, enofrcemment and even structures and layout, including educating parents and drivers who drive kids to the ateneo, annd even school kids.

        there is no way you can do this: “filter out the bad fruits. How to keep these kinds of drivers off the campus”.

        will the school now start testing and accrediting drivers according to driving skills?

        and even if this can be done, accidents are accidents. even the best drivers get into accidents. they may have less occasions of vehicular accidents, but they do exeprience it.

        i disagree with you – traffic is definitely an issue. not traffic per se, but the issue of how can the school with parents improve the safety of their kids in school as it relates to volume of vehicles and vehicular traffic inside the campus.

  3. Czarina
    March 6, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    “i disagree with you – traffic is definitely an issue. not traffic per se, but the issue of how can the school with parents improve the safety of their kids in school as it relates to volume of vehicles and vehicular traffic inside the campus.”

    Precisely. I said it’s not the traffic itself, but the negligence part of the driving.

    • Czarina
      March 6, 2009 at 12:28 pm

      And just to add, if the concern is the traffic, parents and students who bring cars must be willing to seek a compromise about bringing their vehicles to the campus. Or else the vehicle density will not be solved. And if the parents insist on bringing their vehicles, then they should vouch for the quality of their driving (and their drivers too). Even if there’s traffic, accidents can be avoided if drivers aren’t as negligent as she who killed Amiel.

  4. Czarina
    March 6, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    And just to add, if the concern is the traffic, parents and students who bring cars must be willing to seek a compromise about bringing their vehicles to the campus. Or else the vehicle density will not be solved. And if the parents insist on bringing their vehicles, then they should vouch for the quality of their driving (and their drivers too). Even if there’s traffic, accidents can be avoided if drivers aren’t as negligent as she who killed Amiel.

  5. January 19, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Almost a year now on the 24th of February, 10-yr old and 4th graded Atenista AMIEL ALCANTARA cries out from the grave, WHERE IS JUSTICE! Our beloved Amiel was killed willfully through the deliberate unlawful act of accused Ma. Teresa Songco Torres.

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