Isn't it odd that two incidents involving fire and four wheels transpired in the same weekend?
A series of headlines like this doesn't come too often, and it's quite eerie that two separate incidents can conjure almost the same horrific image. Here's to hoping the streak ends here...
The Nueva Ecija Mystery
It took almost an hour before a burning car in Barangay Dimasalang in Talavera, Nueva Ecija was put out, reports said. Authorities were then surprised to discover two bodies in the vehicle's passenger seat and compartment.
The victims—identified as Peter Palapal and Loida Revas—had holes in their skulls and chests, according to initial police investigation.
Revas' mother, Zenaida Reyes Bustamante, confirmed that the vehicle was owned by her daughter, who is a car company finance officer in Cabanatuan City.
In an interview with radio station DZMM, Bustamante shared that her daughter left their house last Sunday (January 17) to have her hair done for a ceremony at work the next day. When Loida failed to return home later that day, Bustamante tried to call her daughter but couldn't reach her mobile phone. When someone finally picked up her call an unidentified voice answered and told Bustamante that her daughter had been killed. "Patay na si Peter. Yung anak ninyo nadamay," said the man. The man then instructed her to get in touch with the Talavera poilice.
Palapal, on the other hand, was reported to be the chief security of Zaragoza National High School in Cabanatuan and was facing charges of illegal possession of firearms. The blogspot Catholic Media Network News Online also mentioned him in connection with the murder of a school principal, whom Palapal was said to have had a heated argument with, in 2012.
Police are still seeking for more clues as of this writing.
The Tagaytay Exploding Car
The Nueva Ecija incident comes in the heels of the much-talked about Tagaytay car crash, which happened Sunday morning and claimed the lives of six teenagers—identified as Lauren Bren Calabines, 16; John Russel Garcia, 15; John Paul Tena, 15; Kirby Bokingo, 16; Jaymee Gubaton, 16; and Rodalyn Bautista, 17.
The driver, Calabines, who didn't have a driver's license like his five passengers, was believed to have lost control of the red 2015 Toyota Vios before crashing into a concrete barrier and a tree along the Tagaytay-Calamba Road in Barangay San Jose. The car was then engulfed by flames. The six weren't able to get out.
According to witnesses, the victims seemed to be on a joy ride, and they even heard the passengers cheering "Yahoo!" as the vehicle was swerving.
Relatives could only express regret following the tragedy.
"Sana nagising ako noong time na umalis siya para napigilan ko. Pero hindi ko naramdaman kasi na umalis sila eh. Kung naramdaman ko lang, hindi ako papayag kasi kargo ko siya eh," Tena's aunt, Tessie Esperanza, told GMA News Online, after revealing that the group came from their house before heading to Tagaytay.
To add insult to injury, there are speculations that emergency responders arrived late on the scene, as told by an eyewitness who talked to TopGear.com.ph:
"Amusing at first dahil parang sa pelikula, until my friends and siblings (we were six in total) noticed that there was someone inside the car," recalled the eyewitness. "May tao pa sa loob ng umaapoy na kotse, and she was still trying to move her head out of the window. And this scenario got us alarmed because NO ONE WAS IN THE AREA TRYING TO AT LEAST EASE OUT THE FIRE."
This was in contrast to the claim of the Cavite police department (via a report on Philstar.com) that they tried to rescue those inside the car but the vehicle caught fire.
Netizens, including actress Carla Abellana, didn't mince words when they called out the people concerned:
Meanwhile, other netizens resorted to supernatural and prophetic talk, arguably rubbing salt on the wounds of the bereaved.
While the bodies of the victims have already undergone autopsy, probers are still looking for witnesses and CCTV footages taken from around the area.
For now, we urge everyone to pray for the repose of the souls of the victims of these two horrible incidents.