DNA sampling starts on victims’ kin in Itogon landslide
Marje Pelayo • September 26, 2018 • 2966
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – Around 30 individuals are still patiently waiting at the training center of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Baguio City.
All of them are hoping that anytime soon they will be able to see at least the bodies of their loved ones buried beneath the rubble of a landslide that descended upon a barangay in Itogon, Benguet during the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong a week ago.
On Tuesday, September 25, four more bodies were recovered from the landslide site.
The next day, authorities began the DNA sampling of the victims’ kin to speed up the process of identifying and claiming the bodies.
The DSWD Cordillera has also started processing burial assistance for relatives of those who are still missing.
This, after Regional Director Ruben Carandang of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) declared that there were no signs of life anymore under the rubble.
The OCD also declared that the operation would be search and retrieval starting today.
According to the Cordillera Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC), the death toll from the landslide has already reached 107 with 87 from Benguet province (82 from Itogon) and 31 still missing. — Marje Pelayo (with reports from Grace Doctolero)
MANILA, Philippines — At least four were confirmed dead, while six others are still missing after a mining pit in Barangay Biga, Toledo City, Cebu collapsed on Monday (December 21).
The victims’ bodies were recovered by authorities on Tuesday (December 22) during a rescue operation.
The said mining pit of Carmen Copper Corporation collapsed Monday afternoon. In a statement the mining corporation said the landslide occurred due to the heavy rains brought by tropical depression Vicky.
“As of this time we are in close coordination and communication with the affected immediate families and will continue to extend the needed support and assistance,” the statement reads.
Meanwhile, the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) is also investigating other factors that could have triggered the landslide. Carmen Copper Corporation is among the biggest mining companies in Toledo City, Cebu. AAC
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday called on the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to ensure the welfare of the newborn child of Amanda Socorro Echanis following her arrest in Cagayan on Wednesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque issued the statement following reports that authorities apprehended Echanis for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and illegal possession of explosives.
“I’m calling upon the DSWD to take steps to ensure that the welfare of the child will be protected,” Roque said in an online press briefing.
He also said that the DSWD should also make sure that Echanis will not suffer the same fate as detained activist Reina Nasino whose three-month old baby died after they were separated.
Roque said an arrest cannot be avoided even if there is a newborn child involved but he assured that the government is taking steps to ensure that the child is protected.
“Hindi po kasi dahilan yun na palibhasa may anak ka ay di ka makukulong at hindi ka masa-subject sa proseso but it is always the rule government will take steps for the best interest of the child,” he said.
Amanda is the daughter of Randall Echanis, peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, who was killed inside his apartment in Quezon City in August.
BENGUET PROVINCE, Philippines — A total of 200 miners and their families have been locked down inside a bunkhouse in a mining community in Itogon, Benguet after a number of miners tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The local government and health officials in the area have agreed to subject all bunkhouse occupants to the same COVID-19 management protocols being applied to positive cases.
According to Governor Melchor Diclas, inside the bunkhouse were also the 44 miners who first contracted the disease.
“Ang nag-positive dyan ay 40 plus another nadagdagan kaya mga 50. Kaya ang decision diyan dahil walang paglalagyan pa na quarantine facility kaya ginawa natin na yung bunkhouse na ang quarantine facility o isolation facility doon, (Around 40 people initially tested positive then the number increased to more than 50. So we decided, since there is no quarantine facility available, the bunkhouse itself will be their quarantine facility or isolation facility),” the governor said.
All positive cases are confined on the third and fourth floors of the building while those who are not sick occupy the ground floor and second floor as they await the result of their swab tests.
While they are inside the bunkhouse, the local government is currently working on establishing an isolation facility where the infected families will be transferred.
On Thursday (October 22), another 74 miners were among the 93 new COVID-19 cases reported in the province, the highest number since the outbreak started in the Cordillera region.
Most miners and their families who tested positive for the disease were from crowded mining communities of Stio Luneta in Barangay Loacan, Sitio Sangilo in Poblacion, Sitio Balatoc in Virac and Barangay Ampucao.
Overall, the province has reported a total of 872 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 426 of which recovered and 11 died of the disease. MNP (with reports from Grace Doctolero)
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