At least 12 people, some of them pastors, got killed while six others were injured when the van they were riding smashed onto a cargo truck in Malungon, Sarangani, early Thursday, police said.

PO2 Ricky Salazar, desk officer at the Malungon Police station, said the incident occurred around 5 a.m. along the National Highway in Sitio Bankerohan, Brgy. Banate.

Confirmed killed were the van’s driver Gilbert Constantino, 40; Ricky Magallanes, 32; Arnold Cabrido, 48; Liza Cabrido, 45; Reynante Ilogsong, 42; Annie Ilogsong, 42; Jane Martinez, 32; Arbie Martinez, 5, Jelyn Magallanes, Alice Constantino, Nikki Constantino, and Rodolfo Asejo.

Vic Martinez, 42; Jaymark Martinez, 5; Fe Asejo, Myka Constantino, Leah Magallanes, and Reniel Ilogsong, were brought to the Digos Doctors Hospital and Gonzales Hospital, both in Digos City, Davao del Sur. Salazar said they recieved information that one of the six expired while undergoing treatment but were not told who.

Constantino was driving the Mitsubishi L300 van (LCW-509) from General Santos City to Davao City, where he and his passengers, all members of a Protestant church, were supposed to attend a “pastoral meeting.”

“Most of the males are pastors of their church,” Salazar said.

The van smashed onto the back of the truck, which was parked beside the road. “Hindi yata napansin yung warning device ng truck, may warning device… lumabas din sa investigation na nagkaroon ng mechanical malfunction ‘yung van” Salazar said.

Truck driver Eulalio Rivera, 21, is now detained at the Malungon Police station. (John Roson)

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