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Ramon S. Ang issues a real man’s apology to victims of Skyway crane accident

Promises to provide assistance to the victims and their families

A steel girder fell on six vehicles on SLEX's service road. PHOTO FROM NORBERTREY DELA CERNA

Yesterday, a terrible accident occurred on South Luzon Expressway’s service road in Cupang, Muntinlupa, in which a crane knocked a heavy steel girder and caused it to fall on six vehicles. The mishap resulted in the death of one person, and injured four more. If you were scrolling through your news feed, you likely saw photos and watched videos. The images were indeed disturbing, and they were enough to discourage anyone from using SLEX (especially considering the heavy traffic congestion brought about by the incident) in the past 24 hours.

But apparently, no one was more impacted by the tragedy than San Miguel Corporation president and COO Ramon S. Ang himself, at least according to a statement sent by the company’s media affairs group. As you know, SMC is the concession holder in charge of the Skyway Extension project.

The statement was sent to the press to relay Ang’s “personal apology” for what happened. For a welcome change, an apology from a prominent Filipino public figure isn’t seeking to blame another individual or company—even if he had a valid reason to do so (EEI Corporation, after all, is the project contractor).

Here is the quote attributed to Ang:

Even with a contractor handling the construction, ultimately, we are responsible for the welfare of those who were affected. I would like to personally apologize to the victims and their families, as well as to our larger community in Muntinlupa, This terrible and tragic accident has affected me in ways I can’t even begin to express. I have not stopped thinking about the people who were affected—the four that were injured and most especially the person who perished, and his family. There are no words that can ease the grief of losing a loved one. To the family, I can only offer my sincerest and deepest condolences, and my personal assurance that your family will be taken care of. To those who were injured, please be assured we will provide all the means necessary for you to recover and restart. In a project of this magnitude and scale, there are many redundant safety measures in place. Unfortunately, we can’t predict every outcome, and I’m sure no one wanted this to happen. Regardless, we are working with authorities to determine the root cause of this incident. We will find out where lapses occurred and do whatever is necessary to help make sure they don’t happen again.

Now, that’s a real man’s apology—one that is brave enough to accept full responsibility, but also humble enough not to resort to excuses. If all leaders were like this.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.