Three young volunteers named Rio John Abel, Darwin Lajara and Maximino Alcantara III died in a car crash after delivering relief goods for affected communities of the Taal Volcano unrest.
Facebook/Rio John Abel, Darwin Lajara and Maximino Alcantara III
Three students die in car crash after delivering relief goods for Taal victims
Arnell Ozaeta ( - January 15, 2020 - 12:21pm

BATANGAS, Philippines (Update 2: Jan. 16, 2020, 1:27 p.m.) — Three De La Salle Lipa students died after a tragic car accident along the national highway in San Jose Batangas early Tuesday morning, police said.

San Jose police said Rio John Abel, Maximino Alcantara III and Darwin Lajara were on their way home after distributing relief goods in one of the evacuation centers when they hit a trailer truck that was about to enter a feedmill in Barangay Banay-banay 1st around 1:30 a.m.

Abel and Alcantara died on the spot while Lajara was rushed to a nearby hospital. Lajara passed away Wednesday morning while being treated at a hospital.

In a facebook post, De La Salle Lipa President Br. Dante Amisola thanked the young volunteers for making the ultimate sacrifice of giving up his life in the service of his fellow human beings in need.

“Let us not let Rio's life and his example of self-sacrifice be in vain. Let us honor him instead by extolling the values he lived and died for---especially the paradox and truism that there are things and others in this world that are worth more than and beyond our selves and our own interests, and therefore, worth risking our life and even dying for,” his post read.  

Amisola also made a personal appeal for understanding to parents, students and other stakeholders who are concerned about the learning process in view of class suspensions. 

“I would like to personally take this opportunity to appeal, in these very trying times, to our dear parents, students, faculty, and personnel to bear with understanding the very dire situation many of our 'kababayans' are currently bearing and to seize this crisis and convert it into a valuable "teaching-moment" for ourselves and our children" Amisola said. 

Starting January 17, De La Salle Lipa has committed to adopt an evacuation center and helping feed 400 evacuees at a nearby public school with three hot meals daily until the crisis ends. 

They are also preparing to welcome additional evacuees within the school grounds.

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