The accident took place at Barangay General Luna in Carmen, North Cotabato, past 10 a.m.
The jeep driver, Allan Balono, of Barangay Patadon, Matalam, Cotabato, died on the spot. The other fatalities were identified as Mokamad Saidola and wife Gimas, Lugaya Matalam, Kutog Amil Sapal, Bainoc Sapal, Lubaida Balabagan, Umbay Mustapha, Tong Umbadil, and four still unidentified children. One passenger, identified as Nanogod Guimba, died while being treated at nearby Kabacan Polymedic Hospital.
Aside from Polymedic, some of the injured passengers were also rushed to the Kabacan Medical Specialist Hospital.
Some of the were identified as Manny Salilama Maminteng, 46; Norodin Kasan,19; Nasser Alipio Talintan; Mustapha Nano, 42; and Kisay Sapal.
Most of the victims were residents of Barangays Kilangan and Palanggalang, both in Carmen. Most of them sustained head injuries, doctors at the hospital said.
Reports said they were onboard a passenger Lawin jeep on their way to the pier in Parang, Maguindanao to meet a relative coming home after years of working as an overseas Filipino workers in the Middle East.
Sr. Insp. Reynante Cabico, chief of Carmen police, said that the jeep tried to overtake an Isuzu truck but the driver failed to see a speeding 10-wheeler coming in from the other lane.
The truck driver, Gerry Delos Reyes, 38, of Libungan, North Cotabato, voluntarily surrendered to the police in Carmen.
He denied any culpability in the accident. “In fact, I was on the right side of the road. It was the jeep that collided with the truck I’m driving,” he said in an interview.
The truck, loaded with more than 300 bags of cement, was on its way to the town of Banisilan.
The truck is owned by construction supplier Marlyn Custodio of Midsayap, North Cotabato. (MindaNews)