BAGUIO CITY— Six persons, including two engineers of the Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH), were still the subject of a search operation after a two-storey house crashed into a ravine after a landslide in Sitio Nabitu, Viewpoint in Banaue Ifugao on Thursday, November 12.
Police Regional Office (PRO)-Cordillera Director Brig. Gen. R’win Pagkalinawan said personnel of PRO-Cordillera, together with different emergency response agencies and volunteers, were still conducting search operations with the help of sniffing dogs in a bid to find the victims, who were believed buried by rocks and soil.
On Friday, five bodies were recovered, and two of them were identified as personnel of the DPWH-Ifugao 2nd District Engineering Office Joel B. Chur-ig, driver; and Johnny M. Duccog, laborer.
The other three bodies recovered were also identified as Lance Bruce Guinyang, 3, of Viewpoint, Banaue, Ifugao; Dante Boqueng, of Cambulo, Banaue, Ifugao and Jose P. Piog, 71.
Pagkalinawan said Jacob Guinyang, another DPWH Maintenance Personnel, managed to escape harm after he had to check on a payloader which was parked outside of the area where the landslide hit.
He said personnel of the DPWH-Ifugao 2nd District Engineering Office were in the area to retrieve the bodies of the missing victims, including Engineers John M. Limoh and Julius B. Gulayan, Jr.
It was learned that the five DPWH personnel and one private contractor were clearing an earlier landslide in Viewpoint, Banaue, Ifugao on Thursday to allow vehicle to pass when heavy rains fell.
They sought refuge at the house owned by Bresler Tucdaan, which was situated on the shoulder of the road in Sitio Nabitu. The DPWH personnel joined six residents in Tucdan’s house.
Guinyang said it was about 11:30 on November 12, just when they were having coffee, that he was instructed by one of the DPWH engineers to check on the payloader parked across the house.
It was when he was already outside that the landslide struck, slamming into the house, and sending it crashing down 100 meters into a ravine.
Meanwhile, Secretary Mark A. Villar has extended his thoughts and prayers to all the DPWH personnel who bravely served the country and paid the ultimate price. “Let us extend all efforts to look for the missing and support the families of the victims. Let us pray that those missing will be found,” he said.