Body on Mt. Maculot confirmed that of missing mountaineer Ayson

(Updated 1:18 p.m.) - A body found below a cliff of a scenic mountain in Batangas has been confirmed to be that of missing mountaineer Victor Joel Ayson, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Monday.

In an 8 p.m. Sunday report posted on its website Monday, the NDRRMC said Ayson's father confirmed the body was his son.

"Three brothers of Ayson and a mountaineer and civilian volunteers (who discovered the body) informed the father of the victim to verify the body through MMS and it was confirmed by the father," it said. In a report on GMA News TV's News to Go on Monday, however, Oscar Oida reported that the Ayson family did not want to confirm if the body was indeed that of Victor Joel's. The body was badly decomposed.

A report on GMA News TV's Balitanghali said the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Lab has also confirmed that the body was that of the missing mountaineer. "Ang cause of death ay blood traumatic injuries of the body, consistent with fall from height," said Chief Inspector Joseph Palmero of the PNP Crime Laboratory-Medico Legal Division. "We believe it is an accidental fall. Wala pong indikasyon na sinaktan siya," he added.

According to the report, the PNP ruled out foul play in the incident. Police assistance

Last April 1, Ayson's father Samuel had sought assistance from police in Cuenca town in Batangas to find Victor Joel, who had been missing since Easter Sunday, March 31.

Victor Joel had gone alone to the camp site on Mt. Maculot in Cuenca at the time. On Saturday, after a two-week search, the body of a man believed to be Ayson was found near the shore of Taal Lake, just below a prominent cliff on Mt. Maculot called the Rockies, well-known to climbers and a visible feature of the mountain from many angles. The body was found on Ayson's 27th birthday.

A separate report by radio dzBB's Glen Juego said the body of Victor Joel would be brought to Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame for autopsy.

Cremation Meanwhile, a close friend of the Ayson family confirmed that the body found was indeed that of Victor Joel's. "The dental record matches with the body," Patrick Angeles, fellow mountaineer and a close friend of the family, told GMA News Online Monday afternoon. He said the body will be cremated as soon as possible. Details regarding the wake have yet to be decided by the family, Angeles added.— With reports from Carmela G. Lapeña and Amanda Fernandez/KG/RSJ/KBK/HS, GMA News

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