CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/19 December) — An outpouring of outrage among netizens of the social networking site, Facebook, greeted the news that decomposing corpses of victims of Saturday’s flash floods were dumped in the city’s landfill in Zayas, Carmen Sunday evening.
The Pulso sa Kagay-an group instantly went abuzz when member Rolly James Esling posted in the group’s wall reports on the transfer of the cadavers.
Bency Ellorin, one of the members of the virtual group, posted: “Por dios por santo Dongkoy! Dili basura pareho sa inyo ang mga biktima sa baha.”
Dongkoy is Vicente Emano, the city mayor.
Another member of the group, Elson Elizaga repeatedly wrote only two words: “Dongoy Buang.” (Crazy Dongkoy).
Elsewhere in cyberspace, several netizens described the dumping as “evil deed,” “inhuman,” “heartless.”
Councilor Alden Bacal told reporters Monday evening that the transfer of the cadavers to the dumpsite was a “consensus decision with the consent of the relatives.”
Whose consent when some of the cadavers had not been identified, a reporter asked.
Bacal immediately took back what he said, claiming he was absent during the emergency meeting after the flag ceremony at City Hall on Monday.
The first set of 30 cadavers was transferred Sunday night to the dumpsite.
Bacalsaid that during the special session of the City Council on Monday, the City Engineers Office is working double time constructing an apartment-type mausoleum at the city-run Bolonsiri Memorial Cemetery.
“The structure can accommodate 40 and its construction is still going on,” said Bacal.
While figures on the dead and the missing vary, what is clear is that at least 200 perished in Saturday’s flood.
Dr. James Bernadas, regional director of the Department of Health, said he was not aware of any order to transfer the decomposing corpses from Bollozos Funeral Homes to this city’s dumpsite.
“I did not know of any order for the transfer,” he said.
He said their role is mainly to aid in retrieval operations and help the technical experts of both the police and National Bureau of Investigation in preparing the forensic profile of the victims.
Bernadas also said that they are expecting the arrival of refrigerated vans any day this week adding that the cadavers that could not be accommodated in the vans will be the city government’s concern.
“It is the role of the local government unit to look for temporary shallow graves so that it will be easier to exhume the bodies when relatives identify and claim their departed,” he said. (Cong Corrales/MindaNews)