Angeles City

Angeles toddlers’ death inside car prompts probe into parental accountability

Joann Manabat

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Angeles toddlers’ death inside car prompts probe into parental accountability

LIFELESS. The bodies of the two little boys, Darriel and Marvin, were found lifeless inside a parked Toyota Vios on Friday, March 22.


Autopsy results show the two toddlers died of asphyxia by suffocation

ANGELES, Philippines – Authorities are looking into the accountability of the parents of two unattended toddlers who tragically suffocated inside a car in Angeles City. The city’s mayor also directed the local social welfare and development office to reassess regulations pertaining to children’s protection and welfare to prevent such tragedies from occurring again in Angeles City.

The two toddlers, both cousins, were playing beside a parked car on Cuayan Street in Barangay Malabanias, Angeles City, on Friday morning, March 22. It was the last time anyone saw the little boys alive.

Four hours later, the two boys – a three-year-old and a two-year-old – were found dead inside a sun-baked maroon Toyota Vios, with plate number CBE 3794, according to the Angeles City Police Office (ACPO).

The two toddlers, police theorized, managed to enter the car but were unable to get out. 

Based on the autopsy conducted by police medico-legal officer Major Noel Villaruel, the children died of asphyxia by suffocation.

The vehicle, which was being used for a ride-hailing app, is now under the custody of ACPO Police Station 4. The case is still under investigation.

UNDER CUSTODY. The Toyota Vios car is under the custody of the Angeles City Police Station 4 as investigation is ongoing. ACPO Photo

The police station’s commander, Major Vicky Tamayo, said the parents of the children have not filed any formal complaint against anyone as of Monday, March 25. The Commission on Human Rights (CHR), however, said the children’s parents have sought assistance from the commission and complained.

Questions have been raised in Angeles City about why the toddlers were outside their homes alone.

“We are also investigating the responsibility of the parents. Kasama iyon sa imbestigasyon (It’s part of the investigation),” said Tamayo.

Angeles Mayor Carmelo Lazatin Jr. ordered the Angeles City Social Welfare and Development Office to review government policies and procedures concerning child welfare and protection to avoid a repeat of what happened to the toddlers. 

Lazatin said the local council for the protection of children should strengthen its policies on child protection in the aftermath of the tragedy.

The car’s driver, Fermhan Pamintuan, who typically waits for passengers from 3 pm to 7 am every day, told Rappler that he unintentionally left the car unlocked after parking it near his house.

He explained that the car’s battery had been drained earlier while he was at Korea Town on Friendship Road around 5:30 am. Pamintuan subsequently jump-started the car with the assistance of a jeepney driver and returned home to sleep.

While Pamintuan recalled pressing the lock button, he admitted that he did not double-check.

“I had no idea that it wasn’t locked,” he told Rappler.

Pamintuan, who has been getting all the blame from the toddlers’ family for the tragedy, said he did not expect something like that to happen.

“Personally, ala kung balu keng milyari. Eku inexpect na matudtud ku atin lungub anak mamyalung la saken. Ala kung balu. As in itang oras na 7:30 hanggang 1:48 matudtud ku eh,” he said.

(Personally, I have nothing to do with what happened. I did not expect that as I was asleep when the children went inside and played in the car. From 7:30 am to 1:48 pm, I was sleeping.)

Jason Carmona, special investigator of the CHR in Region III, said it was helping the children’s family who wanted to press charges.

Carmona, however, said Pamintuan can also reach out to CHR for assistance, and trust that the commission will be impartial. He said Pamintuan could execute his affidavit with the CHR. 

“We have yet to determine if this case falls within our mandate because if a crime was committed by a civilian against another civilian, then it falls within the mandate of the PNP. It’s quite inappropriate to probe now, considering they (families of the toddlers) are grieving. For now, we simply let them know that CHR is here for them,” he said. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!