Cebu City vet office initiates probe to check condition of horse in the tartanilla-PUJ collision 

By: Delta Dyrecka C. Letigio January 02,2019 - 05:21 PM

‘Richard,’ the horse, in this photo taken on Jan. 2, 2019, is still nursing his wounds after the tartanilla he was pulling collided with a public utility jeep (PUJ) on New Year’s Day in Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City, resulting to the death of a PUJ passenger. The horse’s handler insists the horse is “good natured” and should not be blamed for the incident. /PHOTO BY DELTA DYRECKA LETIGIO

CEBU CITY, Philippines  — Cebu City Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries (DVMF) head Dr. Alice Utlang has ordered an investigation into the collision between a tartanilla (horse-drawn cart) and public utility jeep that cost the life of a PUJ passenger in the evening of New Year’s Day.

Utlang said the DVMF will have to investigate whether or not the horse was overworked, which may have caused the animal to go berserk as it collided with a PUJ.

“Atong e-investigate if tinuod gyud nga nag wild ang kabayo kay basin nilapas na ni sa saktong oras nga magtrabaho. Basin gikapoy, giuhaw or gigutom ang kabayo. (We will investigate if the horse really went wild because the horse might have been overworked. Maybe the horse was tired, thirsty, or hungry),” said Utlang. 

Utlang reminded coachmen and stable handlers that horses can only work from five to six hours a day to ensure their road-worthiness and their overall health. 

If the driver of the tartanilla, Celocia Esteban, will be proven to have neglected the horse, he may be prohibited from driving again.

Dr. Wilfredo Salvador, a veterinarian of the DMVF, has been sent to investigate the condition of the horse,  which has been named “Richard” by the stable handler of the Cuadro Tikio, the stable where the horse stays in Barangay Inayawan, Cebu City. 

Salvador said that during the collision, Richard the horse sustained injuries on its back and two front legs. it also sprained its right front leg.

“Dili ra serious kaayo ang condition pero lame siya. Nagkiang pa siya so kailangan siya magrest. (The condition of the horse is not serious but it is lame. It is moving unevenly because of a sprain, so it needs to rest),” said Salvador, who checked on the horse yesterday. 

Salvador recommended that the horse be made to rest for at least week to allow his wounds to heal before it can be hitched on a tartanilla again.

The owner of the horse and stable master, Eustechio Bacong , 78, said the horse could not have gone wild without a reason, as Richard the horse was “generally good natured, well fed and well taken cared of.” 

Bacong said that the horse might have been startled and responded angrily when it was hit by the PUJ.

At around 9:40 p.m. on Tuesday, January 1, 2019, the horse of a tartanilla driven by Esteban was traversing the road along C. Padilla Street in Barangay Mambaling when it figured in a collision with a PUJ, driven by Christopher Aleson, that was coming from the opposite direction.

Esteban reportedly tried to avoid the incoming PUJ but it was too late, with the long wooden pole that held the horse to the cart, which was broken during the collision, mowing three passengers sitting on the side of the PUJ closest to the tartanilla.

One of the passengers, Jerry Bacalso, 27, was hit on his left armpit area by the sharp end of the broken pole,  killing him on the spot.

Bacong, who himself has been facing a misfortune after he lost his home to the Christmas Day fire that hit four sitios in Barangay Duljo Fatima, said he can only hope that the truth will come out and  that his horse will not be blamed for the incident. /elb

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TAGS: Cebu City traffic, Cebu tartanillas, tartanilla-jeep collision

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