Cebu Autobus Company and the hogs killed in 1948

CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal - The Freeman

Cebu Autobus Company which started operating in Cebu on April 22, 1926 pioneered the public bus transport. It used to be owned by W.C. Ogan. On October 19, 1957 the company was made under the control of Sergio "Serging" Chiong Veloso Osmeña Jr. It was bought by the Dela Rama Steamship Company, which was owned by the family of the wife of Serging, Lourdes Dela Rama, daughter of businessman senator and revolutionary general Esteban dela Rama of Panay.

Here is the story of how the death of hogs owned by a passenger of the bus was compensated:

On September 17, 1948, at about 10:00 in the morning, Cebu Autobus with TPU-Truck No. 312 left Cebu City for Maya, a municipality of Daan Bantayan, Cebu. It arrived in the place at about 5:00 in the afternoon of the same day. It passed the night in Maya and left the town on its return trip to Cebu City at about 4:00 a.m., September 18, 1948, without having been inspected or examined by the mechanic. A man by the name of Jose Son boarded the truck in Barrio Maya and loaded seven hogs for his home at Yati, Liloan, Cebu, paying the usual fare and freight.

Jose Son did not reach his destination safely because the truck fell into a canal at kilometer 56, Barrio of Macaas, Municipality of Catmon, Cebu. He was pinned down or pressed by the truck on September 18, 1948, and as a consequence, he suffered complete fractures on his pelvic bone. Because of the shock and pain he lost consciousness for a time.

Jose Son was brought to his house at Yati, Liloan, Cebu, unconscious on board another truck. Later, on the same day, Son was brought in a special wagon to the City of Cebu, and was confined in the Velez Clinic for fourteen days, from September 18, 1948, to October 2, 1948.

On October 2, 1948, Jose Son went out of the Velez Clinic, but according to Dr. Jacinto Velez, physician and proprietor of the Velez Clinic, the injured passenger needed 60 days more of treatment and rest before he could resume his former habitual work, inasmuch as he suffered complete fractures on his pelvic bone. Incidentally, aside from the injury of Jose Son, two of his hogs died when the truck fell.

Dr. Jacinto Velez (later Senior, as he had a son named after him) founded not only the Velez Clinic later to become a hospital but also the Velez College on March 28, 1966.

Dr. Jacinto Velez Sr. (the District Hospital in Talisay City, Cebu is named after him) was born on December 6, 1901. His parents were Teodoro Velez and Herminigilda Chiong Veloso. The mother of Dr. Jacinto, Herminigilda was the daughter of the famous Chinese businessman, Don Nicasio Chiong Veloso and Genoveva Visitacion Rosales. A sister of Herminigilda by the name of Estefania later to be known in Cebu as Doña Pepang became the wife of Don Sergio Suico Osmeña Sr., who became the first Speaker of the Philippine National Assembly (today's House of Representatives), elected as vice president and president successor of Don Manuel Luis Quezon.

Jose Son was not compensated by Cebu Autobus, thus he filed a case against the latter before the Court of First Instance of Cebu. Son asked for P12,660 for the damage. Son was assisted by Eriberto Seno (he became a lawyer on December 7, 1929, considered to be the first lawyer of the Seno clan in Cebu) as his lawyer. Son won his case in the Court of First Instance and was awarded the amount of P2,000 as moral damages, and the sum of P286 for the loss of the seven hogs loaded in the truck (only two died, but the rest were not sold after the accident).

Cebu Autobus Company through its lawyer, Francisco E. Remotigue, appealed the decision of the Court of First Instance to the Supreme Court. A decision by the Supreme Court was handed down on April 30, 1954, affirming the decision of the Court of First Instance of Cebu. The Supreme Court said that Cebu Autobus Company was liable for the damages as the accident was caused by the defect of the engine of the truck.

Francisco Emilio F.  Remotigue, counsel of Autobus Company became a lawyer on November 18, 1935. He was a member of the Provincial Board of Cebu from 1935 to 1939, elected as vice governor of Cebu in 1959, and councilor of the Municipality of Ronda, Cebu. He became Secretary of Social Welfare in 1966 under President Ferdinand E. Marcos.













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