Popular reggae singer dies in Bacolod accident

Kokoi Baldo, whose real name is Juan Manuel Ubaldo.*Kokoi Baldo Facebook page photo

Popular reggae singer Kokoi Baldo died after he fell off his motorcycle and was crushed by the rear tires of a 10-wheeler truck loaded with sugarcane at the Circumferential Road in Purok Tultugan, Barangay Mandalagan, Bacolod City, at 1:30 a.m. Friday, December 8.

Baldo, 44, whose real name is Juan Manuel Ubaldo, was a The Voice Philippines season 2 grand finalist.

Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez said: “I was shocked and saddened by the news of the untimely passing of Kokoi this morning. Many of us have connected with him through his music”.

“It is with a heavy heart to inform the public, especially the fans, that Kokoi Baldo has passed away earlier this morning,” his wife and manager Sam said in a post on his official Facebook page.

“We kindly ask for privacy during this hard time in respect to his family and friends. He will be missed, loved and forever in our hearts,” she said.

She also asked that photos of Baldo at the scene of the accident posted on social media be taken down.

“I am humbly asking everyone to take down the posts pertaining to my husband, Kokoi Baldo’s accident scene as it is already causing distress to our entire family. If you see any posts of the said accident, please ask the owner of the post to delete”, she added.

Baldo attempted to overtake the ten-wheeler truck from the right side at a curve when his motorcycle slid throwing him off, PMaj. Armilyn Vargas, Bacolod Police Station 3 head, said.

He died on the spot after his head was crushed by the truck’s rear tires. His motorcycle was not damaged.

Vargas said Baldo was headed towards Country Homes in Barangay Estefania, where he lives, when the accident happened.

The truck driver Benny Flor of Barangay Sampinit, Bago City, did not realize that he had ran over Baldo and continued to drive on. The driver of a pickup chased the truck to inform Flor about the accident.

Flor is detained at Police Station 3.

PSSgt, Richard Dema-ala, Station 3 traffic investigator, said they were not immediately able to identify Baldo. He was identified through his tattoos and earring that were compared to his profile photo on his Facebook page, he said.

Residents said Baldo is the third person who has died in an accident at the curve, which has no street lights.

Teresita Egay, a resident of the area, was seen covering the blood at the scene of the accident with sand Friday morning. It was not nice to see, said Egay, who witnessed the heart-wrenching grief of the wife and siblings of Baldo when they arrived at the site.*

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