For a moment last May 5, 2012, the skies of Calamba, Laguna, were covered in white balloons to commemorate the 40th day since the tragic death of staunch Pro-life advocate from CFC-FFL Laguna, Anabelle de Guzman, and her daughter Kristine, whose vehicle was hit by an Albay-bound Philippine National Railways (PNR) train on the rainy evening of March 28, 2012. Around 150 joined Alex De Guzman, husband and father, in his quest for justice.
The event, “Remembering Tita Bubut and Tintin: A Call to Protect Life,” started in a Eucharistic celebration led by Fr. Rico de Padua, a family friend of the De Guzmans, in the Rizal Plaza, fronting the new Calamba City Hall. Messages given thereafter highlighted the life of service dedicated by the late Sis. Bubut, especially her active involvement in the community’s Pro-life advocacy. A plea for action on the government’s part was also emphasized by Bro. Alex as he recalled how the lack of safety signs in the railroad crossing, which was fifty meters away from where the mass was held, led to the demise of his wife and daughter. To cap the day’s event, a short procession to the collision site took place and Fr. Rico proceeded on blessing the railroad tracks.
It is unfortunate that, to date, the only action taken by the PNR authorities to band-aid the safety problems in its Calamba railroad crossing was to put a long, bamboo barrier that would be lifted up manually by those who wish to pass by. On the national level, Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas II, can only come up, at best, with a proposal to install closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras at control coaches of trains of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) and along railroad crossings to monitor and record occurrence of collision accidents.
We remain hopeful that government will adapt a more proactive action plan that will effectively prevent tragic accidents along our country’s railroad tracks. Our prayers continue to intercede that Sis. Bubut and Tintin have found peace in the kingdom of the Father.