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Comedian Tado, 14 others die in Bontoc tragedy

Baguio City – Fifteen passengers, including two foreigners and comedian Arvin “Tado” Jimenez, died – nine on the spot – when the passenger bus they were in fell into a 200-meter ravine yesterday at Sitio Paggang, Barangay Talubin, Bontoc, Mountain Province.

Senior Supt. Oliver Enmodias, Mountain Province police chief, said nine passengers were confirmed dead on the spot while injured passengers were immediately rushed to a nearby hospital.

Police identified the two foreigners as Alex Adres Loring , a Canadian whose hometown was not immediately available, and AdrianaVan DeVen, a Dutch national.

There was no immediate reaction from either the Canadian Embassy or the Netherlands Embassy in Manila.

The other fatalities were identified as Giovanni “Bam” Morillo, head of graphics department of Solar TV news; Andrew David Sicam, who was among those who conceptualized the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) peace mural; Anne Martina, Marcial C. Barando  Jr., 7; Natividad Ngawa, Anna dela Cruz, Lea Reyes, Katrina Gozos, Gerald D. Baja, and Emily Gentalian, and two unidentified persons.

The 32 injured were taken to the government-run Bontoc General Hospital.

They included Dutch national Annenwik Verwegen.

Others injured were Edgar Renon (driver), 39; Jerymiah Agnapan, 34; Agung Sikam, 7; Silvestre Dawey, 22; Ammelok, 32; Codiamat, 27;  Teresita Sawad, 51; Melchor Suagen, 22; Camille Osorio, 28; Bernard Bernard, 28;

Christian Conrado, 34; Alexandeer Longlong, 42; Kristina De Leon; Naty Bang-i, 57; Robert Conrado, 45; Aby Atin, 24; James Posao, 38; Carina Hairer, 19; Basilan Miluardo, 43; Abegail Sikam;

Edgar Kemon, 39; Winsislaw Siano, 30; Michael Ligito, 27; Dun Chavez, 30; Jason Melchor, 38; Olivia Aglipay, 27; Charlie Santamaria, 32; Paeng Cordove, 32;  a certain brother of Agung Sikam,4; and two unidentified persons.

Initial reports said a Florida bus with license plate TXT 872 came from Sampaloc, Manila, and was bound for Mountain Province.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board placed the entire fleet of Florida bus under 30-day suspension.

Jimenez graduated from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) with a degree in Psychology. He was strongly involved in activism. He studied filmmaking at Mowelfund Film Institute and was among the founders of the modern-day heroism group Dakila.

Tado is best known for his unorthodox TV role on UNTV’s defunct cult television show “Strangebrew,” and radio jock duties in the radio program “The BrewRATS!” with co-“Strangebrew” cast members Angel Rivero and Ramon Bautista. Tado owns an apparel and toy collectible shop (Limitado). (With a report from Pau Aguilera)