Quitting politics to join family tragic decision for bus passenger

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Former barangay captain Arnold Jeminos, 37, did not seek reelection in October because he wanted to be with his family. Jeminos stayed in Bohol while his wife and young daughter reside in Muntinlupa City.

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Arnold’s wife Ellen, a widow at 35, could not believe that their decision to be together would turn out to be a tragic one.

Jeminos was one of the 21 people who died when a passenger bus plunged off the Skyway in Muntinlupa City on Monday.

“Sandali pa lang ulit kami nagkakasama tapos ganito pa ang nangyari [We’ve been together only for a very short time and now this had to happen],” the sobbing Ellen said.

She said she convinced her husband not to run again as barangay chairman of Santa Cruz in Dagohoy, Bohol province, so they could be together. She and her daughter Princess had not seen Arnold for quite a while because he could not leave Bohol.

“He only came home on November 1,” Ellen, speaking in Filipino, told The Manila Times.

She added that Arnold survived unscathed Bohol’s deadly earthquake in October. That is why she could not believe that a bus accident would claim his life.

Arnold was on his way home after visiting his brother in Malabon and had taken the Don Mariano bus.

“Nagtext pa sya sa akin, 4:45 a.m., sabi nya nasa Cubao na raw sya [He texted me saying he was already in Cubao],” she said. That was the last message from her husband.

“I was at work when my brother texted. He heard of the bus that fell [from the Skyway]. I began to feel afraid. We tried to contact him, we couldn’t,” Ellen recounted.

The bus fell six meters, crashing into a van.

Ellen said she will ask the bus company to pay for bringing Jeminos’ body back to Bohol.

Six-year-old daughter Princess is still unaware that her father is gone because Ellen doesn’t have the heart to break the news to her.

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