Death toll in ‘lambanog’ poisoning climbs to 15

Marje Pelayo

MANILA, Philippines – Two more patients confined at the Philippine General Hospital and Rizal Medical Center died successively of complications due to ‘deadly lambanog’ or methanol poisoning on Tuesday (December 24).

They were identified as Mario Asegurado and Jun Jun Cleriko.

The recent fatalities from drinking ‘lambanog’ at this point has climbed to 15 — twelve from Rizal, Laguna and three from the province of Quezon.

According to the Rizal Municipal Police Station Chief PCapt. Lindley Tibuc, the victims’ kin are determined to file charges against the owner of Rey Lambanog despite the supplier’s offer of financial assistance.

“Puwede tayong mag file ng (We can file charges of) reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and physical injuries,” Tibuc explained.

“Posibleng sa pagluluto or doon sa pagtatakal, pwedeng doon nangyari ang pagkakaroon ng methanol content (Possibly, the poisoning started with the processing or handling when methanol content started to build up),” the officer said.

More patients are coming to PGH for checkup. Most of them were among those who consumed the so-called ‘killer’ lambanog such as Marlon Magpantay.

His drinking buddy died on Tuesday morning.

“Patay na kaninang umaga (He died this morning),” Magpantay said of his friend, Mario Asegurado.

“Maigi na ang sigurado. Nakaka-awa ang mga bata kapag naiwan, (It’s better to be cautious. My children would suffer if I die),” he added.

The municipal health office in Rizal, Laguna are encouraging all individuals who happened to consume Rey Lambanog to immediately seek medical consultation especially if they experience blurring of vision, difficulty breathing and nausea which are among the symptoms of methanol poisoning.

“Hindi biro na kapag nag umpisa na ang signs and symptoms (It’s not a laughing matter once the signs and symptoms begin),” warned Rizal Municipal Health Office Admin Officer John Michael Gangay.

“Kaya sana po bago mag-appear ang mga sintomas na iyon, makapunta kayo dito sa municipal health office, (So before these symptoms start to appear, better go to the municipal health office),” he offered. – MNP (with details from Sherwin Culubong)

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