The Inbox

Driver: Estella chose route of ill-fated taxi

Click on the photo to watch the slideshowClick on the photo to watch the slideshow

Text by Gail Orduña, Photos by Mario Ignacio IV, VERA Files

THE driver of the taxi journalist Chit Estella was riding when it was hit by two buses said on Wednesday Estella herself had chosen the route the taxi took from her home to Ayala Technohub in Quezon City where she was to meet her friends for dinner.

These and other details of the road accident that killed Estella, also known as Lourdes Estella-Simbulan, surfaced at the second hearing in the case of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and damage to property filed against bus drivers Victor Ancheta and Daniel Espinosa.

The hearing was held just a few days before what would have been Estella's 55th birthday, on Aug. 19, and two days before her family was to launch an anthology of her work, on Aug 17.

Estella never made it to the dinner with friends. She died shortly after two speeding buses hit the taxi in the early evening of May 13 last year.

Ancheta drove a Nova bus while Espinosa drove a Universal Guiding Star bus, both of which were reportedly racing to get to passengers waiting along Commonwealth Avenue when they hit the taxi.

Ancheta's lawyer, Marvey Gonzales, questioned the taxi's route going to UP Ayala Technohub from Tandang Sora where Estella lived. He said the cab driver could have cut through Central Avenue to get to Commonwealth.

Vito Jagunos, driver of the Abu Abbey Taxi and the first witness to testify, said he took the route under Estella's instructions. From Tandang Sora where he fetched her, the driver turned to Visayas Avenue and then to Quezon Memorial Circle and took a U-turn on Commonwealth.

He also disproved the account of Gonzales' witness, William Amandy, a bystander, that his taxi moved back at the second lane of Commonwealth as it was approaching Ayala Technohub.

Salvador Panelo, Espinosa's lawyer, asked Jagunos to draw the taxi's exact location at the time it was hit. He also questioned Jagunos' knowledge of Commonwealth and his experience as a driver. Espinosa's bus hit the taxi's rear seconds after the Nova Bus hit its side.

Jagunos said he started driving in the year 1996 as a truck driver and then a family driver, but it was only two years ago that he drove a taxi for a living.

Estella was also a journalism professor at the University of the Philippines Diliman College of Mass Communication (CMC) and a founder and trustee of VERA Files.

On Aug. 17, Estella's family, friends and colleagues are launching Chit Estella: A reader on media ethics, people's issues and governance at the UP CMC Auditorium. The event is scheduled at 10 a.m.
The questioning of Ancheta and Espinosa's lawyers will continue on 2 p.m. on Sept. 12 at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 83 presided by Judge Ralph Lee.

(VERA Files is put out by senior journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. VERA is Latin for true.)

  • Heartbreaking texts from students on sinking S. Korea ferry
    Heartbreaking texts from students on sinking S. Korea ferry

    Heart-wrenching messages of fear, love and despair, sent by high school students from a sinking South Korean ferry, added extra emotional weight Thursday to a tragedy that has stunned the nation. Nearly 300 people -- most of them students on a high school trip to a holiday island -- are still missing after the ferry capsized and sank on Wednesday morning. Mom, I love you," student Shin Young-Jin said in a text to his mother that was widely circulated in the South Korean media. …

  • Philippines quarantines man over MERS fears
    Philippines quarantines man over MERS fears

    Philippine health authorities said Wednesday they have quarantined a Filipino who arrived from the Middle East because he tested positive for the deadly MERS virus. The man, who arrived in the Philippines on Tuesday, is not yet showing symptoms but has been isolated in hospital, Health Secretary Enrique Ona said. The Health Department is also quarantining the man's family and tracing the people who had contact with him during his flight to see if they may also be infected with the MERS or …

  • N. Korea protests to UK over Kim Jong-Un hair poster
    N. Korea protests to UK over Kim Jong-Un hair poster

    North Korea has written an official letter of complaint to Britain over a London hair salon's advert implying leader Kim Jong-Un has a bad hairstyle, the Foreign Office confirmed Thursday. The Stalinist state has failed to see the funny side of a discount haircuts advert featuring Kim at the M&M Hair Academy in Ealing, west London. …

  • Confused, chaotic scene described on sinking ferry
    Confused, chaotic scene described on sinking ferry

    MOKPO, South Korea (AP) — The captain of a doomed ferry delayed evacuation for half an hour after a South Korean transportation official ordered preparations to abandon ship, raising more questions about whether quick action could have saved scores of passengers still missing Friday and feared dead, according to a transcript of the ship-to-shore exchange and interviews with a crewmember. …

  • Study: sleeping positions reflect quality of relationships
    Study: sleeping positions reflect quality of relationships

    Whether a couple sleeps face to face or back to back, with or without physical contact, is a good indicator of relationship health, according to a study presented at the Edinburgh International Science Festival, which is taking place in the Scottish city through April 20. Couples who sleep closer together in their bed at night are more likely to be happy in their relationship. This is just one of the conclusions of the first study to examine correlations between sleeping positions and …

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Heartbreaking texts from students on sinking S. Korea ferry

    Heartbreaking texts from students on sinking S. Korea ferry

    AFP News - Thu, Apr 17, 2014
    Heartbreaking texts from students on sinking S. Korea ferry

    Heart-wrenching messages of fear, love and despair, sent by high school students from a sinking South Korean ferry, added extra emotional weight Thursday to a tragedy that has stunned the nation. Nearly 300 people -- most of them students on a high school trip to a holiday island -- are still missing after the ferry capsized and sank on Wednesday morning. Mom, I love you," student Shin Young-Jin said in a text to his mother that was widely circulated in the South Korean media. …

  • Dear Ms. Kris Aquino

    MB - 6 hours ago

    Sometime in October, 2013, you assumed a new role as member of the board of directors of Central Azucarera de Tarlac. The news spread quickly among the good, decent, and hardworking farm workers and farmers at Hacienda Luisita and their supporters inside and outside of Tarlac. Your new role comes with corporate responsibilities to CAT, social responsibilities to farm workers and farmers of Hacienda Luisita, and civic responsibilities to the country.  The nation and the world now looks at what …

  • Centipede Bursts from Snake's Stomach

    Centipede Bursts from Snake's Stomach

    LiveScience.com - Thu, Apr 17, 2014
    Centipede Bursts from Snake's Stomach

    A group of researchers stumbled upon a grisly scene during a field study in Macedonia last year: a dead nose-horned viper with a centipede's head sticking out of its ruptured abdomen. "All of us were astonished, as nobody has ever seen something like this," Ljiljana Tomovi?, a herpetologist at the University of Belgrade, told Live Science in an email. The remnants of the death match were discovered when one researcher, Dragan Arsovski, turned over a stone, Tomovi? The unfortunate nose-horned …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options