Gov. Fuentes orders probe on freak death in Lake Sebu falls

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/06 June) — South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes ordered on Friday a deeper investigation into an accident that led to the death of a former Mutya ng South Cotabato runner-up while visiting one of the famed seven waterfalls of Lake Sebu town late Wednesday afternoon.

Fuentes said she has formed a team that will look into the circumstances behind the death of 23 year-old Ayana Grico, who was hit by a falling rock on her head while posing for a picture near waterfalls number two of Lake Sebu at around 4 p.m. Wednesday.

The victim was immediately rushed by responding tourist policemen to the Lake Sebu municipal hospital but was declared dead on arrival.

Citing a report released by the Lake Sebu municipal police station, the governor said the incident happened within a partially restricted zone of the waterfall.

The waterfall is within a resort developed and being maintained by the provincial government. The resort hosts the town’s famed zip line.

She said a rock about the size of a fist reportedly coming from the upper portion of a hill situated at the right side of the waterfall suddenly fell on the victim, hitting the back of her head.

The governor said there were initial reports that the movement of wild monkeys atop the hill could have caused the rock to accidentally fall on the victim.

But Fuentes, who had visited the site numerous times, said the angle of the hill’s slope could only make a rock falling from the top portion to just roll down as it was fully covered by foliage.

She estimated that based on the slope’s angle, a falling rock would only elevate to waist high at the most before it would hit the ground.

“So far there’s no sign of any foul play but at the same time we can’t really explain what really happened there. So I ordered our police investigators and our personnel to dig deeper and consider all possible angles,” she said.

Fuentes said she has ordered an in-house investigation to determine whether possible lapses on the part of local government workers manning the resort contributed to the occurrence of the incident.

In the meantime, she directed the temporary closure of the spot where the accident happened until the necessary safety measures are put in place.

She said they are planning to place warning signs in the area and totally restrict visitors from going near the waterfall.

Fuentes said the local government will provide some assistance to the family of the victim, who was just on leave from his work as a disc jockey in Cebu.

The victim, who is a mass communications graduate of the Notre Dame of Dadiangas University here, participated and won in various beauty pageants in this city and nearby South Cotabato province several years ago.

She had a brief stint last year in the popular Voice of the Philippines competition. (MindaNews)