Death toll in Davao night market blast now 15; pregnant victim dies in hospital

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 13 Sept) – The death toll from the September 2 bombing at the Roxas night market has risen to 15 as the pregnant victim who lapsed into coma shortly after the blast, passed away late Monday night.

The September 2 blast has killed 15 and injured 69 others.

The City Information Office (CIO) reported that massage therapist Vicenta Depalubos Asperin, 21, six months pregnant, died at the Metro Davao Medical and Research Center (MDMRC) at 10:17 p.m. on Monday.

According to the CIO, the City Social Services and Development Office, quoting a medical report, said Asperin succumbed to “ heart failure and brain damage.”

Asperin was on her sixth month of pregnancy, her elder sister, Dahlia told MindaNews while waiting for updates on her sister, who had lapsed into a coma at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in the early hours of September 3.

Dahlia said the baby in the womb was going to be Vicenta’s first.

“Based on the notes from the Local Civil Registrar, the counting should be one because the unborn baby remained inside the mother’s womb. They were not separated,” the CIO quoted CSSDO chief Ma. Luisa Bermudo as saying.

Asperin’s husband, John Lord, was in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley province when the bombing happened.They were married March and expecting their first baby girl, according to the CIO.

“A splinter entered her nose and went straight to her brain,” the CIO said.

It also quoted Asperin’s brother, Gregorio Depalubos, as saying the doctors “declared her brain-dead and she expired just after a few minutes.”

Depalubos recalled that before lapsing into coma, Asperin did not know a bomb had exploded. “She even asked what happened to her. And she fell into a coma after.”

“We want justice,” Depalubos said, adding he hopes the perpetrators are arrested and made to pay for what hey have done.

Asperin was the massage therapist of another victim, Daniel Larida, 12, who expired while being resuscitated at the SPMC. Daniel’s mother, Melanie Faith, also passed away.

Ten persons were killed at the massage area of the Roxas night market. Four of them died at the hospital near midnight and shortly after midnight of September 2 and 3.

Asperin was the fifth to die in a hospital, 10 days after the blast.

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered a lockdown Saturday dawn, September 3, and declared a state of lawlessness nationwide. He signed Proclamation No. 55 on September 4, a day before leaving for the ASEAN summits in Vientiane, Laos, declaring a State of National Emergency on account of lawless violence in Mindanao.” (MindaNews)