TWO persons who were digging a hole in a dry riverbed in Sitio Ilaya, Barangay Guinacot, Danao City were killed during a cave-in past 9 p.m. on Friday, July 17, 2020.
The bodies of the victims were dug up at 3:15 a.m. Saturday, July 18, under seven meters of earth, based on estimates of rescuers.
They were identified as Phil Bryt Giangan, 22, and Kent Daniel Casas Maglinte, 13. The two resided in the area.
According to PCpl. Mark Anthony Manulat, desk officer of the Danao City Police Station, Giangan and Maglinte dug another tunnel in the opposite direction when they reached a depth of seven meters. That was when the soil above them suddenly came tumbling down and covered them, he said.
Some residents noticed the accident and tried to dig the two out to no avail. They then informed the barangay, which reported the matter to the police. But by then, several hours had passed.
The rescue team from the City arrived in the area with a backhoe, but it had a hard time getting to the scene because of the many holes that dot the riverbed.
Residents had dug these up to sell the soil that was mixed with gravel.
Police said this was their main source of livelihood.
Manulat said they’d received several complaints about illegal quarrying activities in the area, which forced operators to excavate at night to avoid detection.
“Usually, ang ilang binuhatan ana gabii. Run and gun na sila kay kami sige man mi’g roving dihang dapita mabuntag kay daghang complaint lagi anang kinabkaban. Unya kami ra pud ang bantayan kay naa pud lagi magbantay namo. Mao nang mi-shift sila’g gabii (They’ve switched to night operations since we started to patrol the area during the day after we received many complaints. It’s a game of hide and seek for them. They wait for us to leave and then they come out to resume their illegal activity),” Manulat said.
Manulat said they will continue to investigate the incident, especially since it involves the death of a minor.
Police have yet to determine whether to hold Maglinte’s parents liable for allowing their son to do dangerous work.
During the initial interview, he said, the parents denied ordering their son to go digging in the dry riverbed. (AYB / PJB)