- The absence of a medical team on the set might have been a contributing factor in Eddie Garcia’s death
- The Directors’ Guild of the Philippines, Inc. (DGPI) released a statement regarding the accident
- Judy Ann Santos also offered her tribute to Garcia
On June 8, veteran actor Eddie Garcia met an accident during a taping of the show Rosang Agimat. Garcia fell head first onto the pavement after tripping on a loose cable, resulting in a severe neck fracture.
He was comatose at the Makati Medical Center for almost two weeks. Hopes and prayers poured in for the actor’s recovery but on June 20, the legendary star sadly passed away at the age of 90.
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What people have been pointing out about the accident that eventually claimed the actor’s life was the absence of a medical team and ambulance on the set.
With the angry uproar about the accident, GMA Network released an official statement which said that its management is investigating the absence of a medical team during the taping of the show.
“It has been the network’s practice to have medical personnel and ambulance crew on standby whenever the production is executing big action scenes during taping. This has been likewise the practice of other GMA programs. Given this, we are currently investigating the absence of a medical team on the set last Saturday, June 8,” it stated.
Lillibeth Romero, the long-time partner of Garcia, also said that (GMA Network) management should have assigned a medic or a standby vehicle on the set. She was also saddened by the fact there was nobody “manning the set.”
The tragic incident of Garcia called the attention of The Directors’ Guild of the Philippines, Inc. (DGPI). The group of film directors mourned the passing of screen icon Garcia, calling it a “sad and urgent” reminder of the importance of safety protocols on the set of any production.
“The DGPI believes that his tragic passing is a sad and urgent reminder to the film and television industries that safety protocols at work and on the set are of paramount importance,” the Filipino film directors said in a statement.
The guild also honored the multi-awarded actor for his contributions to the Philippine entertainment industry. The filmmakers’ group called him as one of the greatest actors “in the history of Philippine cinema.”
“Through his outstanding and prolific body of work, Eddie Garcia is forever etched in the history of Philippine cinema as one of its greatest actors. As well, his masterful contributions as a filmmaker remain provocative, as seen in such film classics as Atsay (1976), Magdusa Ka (1986), and Imortal (1989).
“His was a long and inspiring career, whose greatness never waned, even as he generously contributed to the national film culture as an actor right up to the age of 90. An iconic giant who will continue to influence generations of actors and filmmakers to come, Eddie Garcia and his immortal legacy shall be missed,” the guild stated in a Facebook post.
Kapamilya actress Judy Ann Santos echoed the statements of DGPI on her social media post.
On Instagram as she paid tribute to Garcia, she also said that Garcia’s accident could have been prevented with proper measures.
“Sana sa nangyaring ‘to, maging bukas ang isip ng mga networks sa tamang pag-aalaga, pagbigay ng sapat na kaalaman sa lahat ng taga production pagdating sa mga ganitong sitwasyon. Maaaring naiwasan sana,” she wrote.
Garcia was cremated on Friday, June 21. The cremation was followed by a small gathering of family and friends who gave eulogies to send off the legendary icon, according to his stepson 1-PACMAN party-list Rep. Michael Romero.
His wake will be open to the public beginning 2 PM of Friday, June 21, until Sunday, June 23, at the Heritage Memorial Park in Taguig City.