Ill-fated VTI bus’ inspector, fare collector hailed as heroes



The bus inspector and conductor of the Ceres Liner bus that crashed over a cliff in Antique on Dec. 5 were hailed as heroes for losing their lives to save passengers.

Bus inspector Jayvoni Fandagani shielded teacher Mica Marie Servano while bus conductor Wilmar Marcelino protected another passenger and child when the bus fell off a 30-meter ravine in Barangay Igbucagay, Hamtic town.

“Mica only had several contusions because she was covered by bus inspector Jayvon Fandagani, who unluckily lost his life,” according to a statement issued by Vallacar Transit Inc. (VTI), operator of Ceres Liner buses.

“May the soul of Jayvon rest in peace,” said Antiqueño environmentalist Bong Sanchez in a viral post.

Marcelino, who was a Ceres bus conductor for 10 years, hails from San Joaquin, Iloilo.

He is survived by his wife and two young children.

“Despite the unfortunate outcome, Marcelino bravely saved an Antiqueña passenger and another child during the incident, shielding them. Regrettably, he didn’t survive, but the pregnant passenger did,” said businessman Flord Nicson Calawag, Marcelino’s townmate in Tibiao, Antique.

The death toll in the tragedy rose to 18 as of Dec. 7.      

Two other Ceres Liner employees also died in the accident.

Meanwhile, Vallacar Transit has established help desk centers to provide assistance to the families of 18 fatalities and 11 wounded passengers.

The injured passengers are currently admitted at Iloilo Western Visayas Hospital, Iloilo Mission Hospital, and Angel Salazar Medical Hospital in San Jose, Antique.

The 11 admitted patients, among them a pedestrian who was also hit by the Ceres bus, are now in stable condition, said Jade Marquez, VTI media relations officer.

Dubbed the Ceres Help Desks, the assistance centers are situated in the above-mentioned hospitals and in Hamtic Municipal Police Station.

Ceres Liner employees have been deployed to assist in the release of medical assistance and extension of financial support to the families of the victims, Marquez said.

The employees are also reaching out to the families of the deceased who have not yet availed of assistance, she added. | GB