25 February 2009

Please refer to: Ma. Sonia Araneta, Tel. 426-6001, ext. 4086


The Ateneo Grade School, though its headmaster Fr. Norberto Bautista and the Ateneo de Manila University, through its president Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, express their deep sorrow and condolences to the family of Grade 4 student Julian Carlo Miguel (Amiel) Alcantara, who succumbed to head injuries before reaching New Era Hospital at around 5 p.m., Tuesday, 24 February 2009.


Amiel, son of Pepe Alcantara, was a valiant and responsible Boy Scout and a friend to many students. He had just completed the challenging year-end camp in Bolinao Pangasinan on Feb. 20-22 with nary a complaint, in spite of his asthmatic condition, according to his scoutmasters Ruth Senga and Raymund Gubat.


At around 3:45 p.m., Tuesday, Amiel, his household helper Tata Suarez, his sister Jana, his grade 7 brother Javier, their driver, and his brother’s friend, exited from the Ateneo Grade School main gate towards their parked vehicle.


At about this time, the vehicle of another parent was situated at the side of the University Physical Plant Office along the garage area which is near the entrance of the inner driveway gate.  Her driver alighted from the vehicle after which she took over the wheel to drive it forward. According to her, her vehicle accelerated uncontrollably and hit Amiel and then Tata Suarez and two other vehicles.


Spectators called for help and a car driven by another AGS parent was in the vicinity, and she, together with Amiel’s driver, rushed the boy to the New Era hospital. Efforts were made to revive Amiel at the hospital, but he died from head injuries.


Suarez suffered fractures in her shins and ankles and, accompanied by Jana, was taken to the school infirmary for treatment.

The Ateneo assures the community that a proper and thorough investigation of the incident has been launched, and that counselling assistance is being provided to the affected families and students. Masses and prayers are also being offered all over campus for the repose of the soul of Amiel, whose remains lie in state at the Chapel of the Holy Guardian Angels at the Ateneo Grade School. As a final tribute to Amiel, the AGS Boy Scouts will forego their scheduled pass in review tomorrow and instead hold a mass for their fellow scout.

 The Ateneo requests the media to respect the privacy of the parties involved in the tragic accident, and of those members of the school community who were profoundly affected by Amiel’s sudden demise, during this time of prayer and mourning.

  1. akai aquino
    February 28, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    When I have first heard the news, I was not that very affected since I have not seen the news in TV. Days have passed and the incident was still talked about by so many. And so, I browsed the net and search for news videos of Amiel.. While watching, tears have just flowing down my face.. I couldn’t believe how a young boy suffer such. I feel so devastated and I feel so much pain for the family of Amiel.

    I just have some points, Is new Era hospital located in commonwealth? Isn’t it that there is a nearer hospital which is along katipunan, QUIRINO HOSPITAL?

  2. Sam
    March 3, 2009 at 2:41 am

    There is a shortcut going to New Era Hospital. Also, traffic around Quirino Hospital is usually bad at that time. New Era has good facilities, too.

  3. charlie
    March 5, 2009 at 1:54 am

    I feel for both families involved. They are all victims of a school that despite (or perhaps because of!) the prestige they enjoy, have continously ignored their traffic problem that has affected ateneans and even more non-ateneans each day. It took a child’s death, and a lot of media coverage for them to take action, but there have been incidents that should have served as warnings in the past and have obviously been ignored. Roads will probably be built, a new traffic system enforced, and a parking building will probably be named after Amiel, but all this will simply be too little too late. What kind of educators do they have in Ateneo? The kind that teaches their students to ignore the realities around them and act as if they know it all anyway.

    • Miko
      March 6, 2009 at 2:31 pm


      The most unfortunate death of Amiel was the cause of negligence not a failure of traffic management system. Read the accounts again and tell me: where does it say that the accident was a result of a poorly implemented traffic scheme?

      I have been a student of Ateneo for four years and I can say that they have done their duty in planning and implementing efficient traffic schemes. Heavy traffic will always be there because parents (especially those in the GS) insist that they drop and fetch their children — which is a very understandable thing to do.

      The thing is, the accident happened DESPITE security and safety measures.

      And what exactly was your point when you mentioned this:

      “What kind of educators do they have in Ateneo? The kind that teaches their students to ignore the realities around them and act as if they know it all anyway.”

  4. Gary
    March 7, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    Miko- I have been an ateneo student from prep to college. I have two boys studying there now and 2 college girls. And I have seen the changes. Some good some bad. Good because of the educational facilities that they have provided to make the school world class. Bad thing is that, what efficient planning and implementing traffic scheme are you talking about? The kind that they have now? I have been a Class Parent Officer and have been one in writing to the administrators about proposed improvements especially with the help of an traffic engineer co-parent officer. But we’ve been waiting in vain.

    You’ve just been there for four years and that’s not enough for you to say that the education system has improved.

    Another point is that ACCIDENTS can be prevented. I just hope that you don’t encounter an accident like Amiel’s.

  5. Tom Perez
    March 10, 2009 at 8:45 am

    Indeed, why blame the school administration for this horrible incident? The so-called “unfortunate and unexpected event of no apparent cause” that irresponsible drivers readily use for an excuse to pull themselves out of the moral wreckage is the most unacceptable, inexcusable reason in a fatal accident. “The dumb dog jumped into my path”, “He crossed while I had the green light”, “He shouldn’t have been there in the first place”. We never run out of reasons. We’re too smart not to have one at least. Even the dumbest of drivers would easily say “It was an accident!”

    What was the driver thinking? There was life running around, for God’s sake! She was in school grounds — kids move a lot, play a lot, jump and frolic a lot, squirm a lot. Even if Ateneo had the Marines to man the gates and watch the grounds, kids would still move about. Was she too engrossed with herself not to care? She had her own kids, how could she have been so uncaring about others.

    The school administration’s faults, if any, does not give any motorist – parent or otherwise – reason for his/her own. A responsible driver would put the safety of others foremost, a safe one would have the compunction to contemplate the moral and social impact of an irresponsible act – like texting while driving.

    • March 10, 2009 at 8:57 am

      i don’t think anyone is blaming the school administration for what happened to amiel.

      BUT the school administration is THE group who can change and improve safety for kids in school. they have the power and the duty to change things.

      the point is the parents are asking for the school to implement changes to help prevent another accident of this sort to happen again in school.

  6. Timothy CF Mendonez
    November 19, 2009 at 4:30 am

    Charlie, how do you idiot-proof a parking lot? The good news is, with a some tweaking, we might just be able to put some sense into you.


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