Rene Saguisag wife killed in road accident

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — Dulce Saguisag, wife of former senator Rene Saguisag, was declared dead on arrival after they figured in a vehicular accident at the boundary of Manila and Makati City early Thursday.

Saguisag and his wife were with another companion, Rhea Obong, and the driver of the Toyota Hi-Ace Grandia van and they had just crossed Pasay Road in Makati at about 1 a.m. when a dump truck traversing Osmeña Highway bumped the left side of their van, a radio dzMM report said.

The four were initially rushed to the nearby Ospital ng Makati after the accident where the former senator’s wife, who had received the full impact of the collision, was declared dead on arrival, the report said.

The former senator, one of the lead counsels in the plunder trial of former President Joseph Estrada, was unconscious when admitted in the hospital while the two others were seriously injured.

Dr. Romeo Bundar, resident physician at the hospital, said the former senator was in a “critical” stage but was responding well to simple instructions, the report said.

Rene Saguisag and his driver were later transferred to the Makati Medical Center for further observation and clinical tests. Obong sustained the least injuries.

Senator Jinggoy Estrada rushed to the hospital at about 4 a.m. upon learning of the accident, another dzMM radio report said.

He said he had dinner with the former senator and other lawyers of the former President at the Estrada residence in San Juan City Wednesday night, the report said.

Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay also went to the hospital.

Radio and television reports said Binay and Estrada offered prayers for the recovery of Saguisag. They also condoled with the family for the death of Dulce.

Police arrested the driver of the dump truck, the report added.

Another driver, who was two vehicles behind the Saguisag vehicle, told dzMM radio that the traffic intersection light was on green when the dump truck hit the Saguisag van.

Dulce Saguisag was the secretary-general of the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines. She was the social welfare secretary during the presidency of Joseph Estrada.

A profile of Saguisag posted on the website of the Senate says he was born on August 14, 1939 in Mauban, Quezon and obtained his undergraduate and law degrees from San Beda College and his Master of Laws from Harvard University in 1968.

He later became a human rights lawyer and then spokesman for candidate and president-elect Corazon Aquino, the profile said.

As senator from 1987-92, Saguisag chaired the committee on ethics and privileges and an ad hoc committee on the Bataan nuclear power plant, the profile added.