At least nine people were killed and over 200 hundred others were rushed to the hospital in the provinces of Quezon and Laguna over the weekend due to suspected poisoning after reportedly drinking lambanog, or coconut wine.
Eight victims from Rizal, Laguna reportedly died on Sunday, while another suspected lambanog poisoning death in Candelaria, Quezon was reported on Saturday.
Candelaria police reported that drinkers who consumed the lambanog had bought it from a store in Catalina Village. Police received a call from village chairwoman Myla Escamilla, who said that several people were rushed to the hospital at 11am on Saturday. Two were comatose, while four others were discharged after being treated, CNN Philippines reports.
Meanwhile, in Laguna, Rizal Mayor Vener Muñoz told reporters that over 100 people who complained of pain after drinking the alcohol were rushed to the Philippine General Hospital in Manila.
Laguna Disaster Response Chief Aldwin Cejo said hundreds more were brought to a regional health unit in Rizal and a district hospital in the adjacent town of San Pablo. Cejo added that the suspected lambanog poisoning victims were from the same town, but were at different venues celebrating Christmas parties, The Philippine Inquirer reports.
Muñoz suspects that the lambanog “came from one brand, and one store, that’s why so many” were affected, he told ABS-CBN News.
Laguna Governor Ramil Hernandez said in a Facebook post yesterday that he’s temporarily banning the sale of lambanog in the entire province until further notice while police investigate the cases in Rizal.
“We are asking for the public’s understanding and cooperation while the Food and Drug Administration is examining samples of the lambanog consumed by victims, and to give way to investigation by the authorities,” Hernandez said in Filipino.
“We also would like to convey our condolences to the families of the victims who passed, and pray for the quick recovery of those brought to the hospital,” he added.
Authorities in Quezon are also investigating the case.
This article, ‘Poisonous’ lambanog kills at least 9, sickens hundreds in Quezon and Laguna, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!