Cop warns of offering local exec as sacrifice to volcano

Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

THE head of the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) police on Tuesday, January 21, warned a vice mayor against goading residents to return to their homes amid signs of a possible hazardous explosive eruption of Taal Volcano.

Should this happen and people die because they returned to their homes within the danger zone upon the prodding of Vice Mayor Charlie Natanauan of Talisay, Batangas, Brigadier General Vicente Danao said he will offer the vice mayor as a sacrificial lamb to the volcano.

Danao appealed to the affected residents to comply with preventive measures being implemented by the government and stay away from their homes within the 14-kilometer danger zone.

“Nakikiusap po kami sa aming mga kababayan na kung pwede po sumunod tayo sa batas na ipinapatupad ngayon. Especially in the lockdown areas wherein we are now prohibited to enter within the 14-kilometer radius...Especially po dun sa harapan ng crater, ang dami pa pong tao dyan na pumipilit na gustong pumasok pero ginagampanan po natin ang ating trabaho hangga’t kaya po natin,” he said in a radio interview.

To Natanauan, Danao said, "nakikiusap po ako sa inyo bilang isang vice mayor ng lungsod o ng isang town dyan na please tumulong po kayo, wag na po kayo mag-udyok na pabalikin ‘yan.”

“Kasi po pag ‘yan ay may nangyari, dahil sa pagu-udyok ninyo, pag nakita pa kitang buhay, iaalay kita sa bulkan na ‘yan,” he added.

Danao issued the warning after Natanauan questioned in another radio interview the “opinion” of Philippine Institute of Volcanology (Phivolcs) officer-in-charge Renato Solidum.

Solidum has been pushing for total evacuation within the danger zone. Alert Level 4 remained raised over the volcano Tuesday. This means a hazardous explosive eruption could occur within hours or days.

“Ang plano ko as a vice mayor, ay ako ay humihingi ng kuwan kay Presidente Duterte, yung opinyon ng Phivolcs ay medyo baguhin, kasi masyado niyang pinalala ang sitwasyon ng balita. Masyado niyang ano e, sabi niya mas malakas ang puputok na susunod, nag iipon lamang. Opinyon niya 'yon...Nag-iisa siya (Solidum) sa kaniyang opinyon. Kami buong Batangas ang naapektuhan sa kaniyang sinasabi. Pag-aralan niyang mabuti," Natanauan had said.

Natanauan criticized Solidum for his "failure" to detect the volcanic eruption on January 12.

"Wala pang nakapag-predict sa buong mundo kahit scientist sa pagputok ng bulkan...Bakit naman nasabi niya, siya ba ay Diyos?" he said.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government has imposed a lockdown on the villages within the danger zone to prohibit residents from going back to their homes. (SunStar Philippines)