LINAMON, Lanao del Norte (MindaNews / 31 October) — An eco aide of the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office here was reported missing at around 8 a.m. Saturday in sitio Manadi, Barangay Purakan, his dead body found at 7 a.m. Sunday.
Linamon Mayor Randy Macapil told MindaNews that Rogelio Pantilgan, 35, a resident of barangay Purakan set out to go fishing with his 13-year old brother Jenrel, but was swept away as they were about to cross the river. Jenrel survived.
Jenrel said that at around 6 a.m. Saturday, as they were about to cross the river, his brother, who was ahead of him, fell into the water. He said he nearly fell into the water, too. He recalled running after his brother but could not find him anymore so he returned home to report what happened.
Macapil said that as of 3 p.m. on Saturday, rescue and retrieval efforts by the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, ALERT rescue team and the Philippine Coast Guard of Iligan-Laao del Norte Station yielded negative results.
Felicidad Tuzon, Municipal Environment Resources Officer said Pantilgan was a contractual employee of Manadi Eco Center for more than one year.
Mario Villaraza , a member of the 5th Infantry Battalion – Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit of Purakan Patrol Base said that at around 6 a.m. on Sunday, he and two other civilians checked downstream for Pantilgan and found his battery-operated fishing gear. Farther downstream, he saw the floating body of Pantilgan.
He called on his companions to help him retrieve Pantilgan’s body which they brought back to the barangay after a two-hour hike.
Villaraza said Pantilagan had head injuries.
The local health officer, Dra.Gemma Deaño, with the police authorities examined the cadaver.
Rubylen Tampon, Pantilgan’s partner told MindaNews that when she woke up at 5:30 a.m, her partner had left. She said he informed her on Friday night about his schedule the next day and hugged and kissed her.
Rubylen and Pantilgan have a baby girl.
The mayor said the local government will shoulder the funeral expenses and the financial assistance of 10,000 for Pantilgan’s partner and baby.
Macapil said he will issue a memorandum to all barangay captains to advise residents in interior villages to stay away from riverbanks especially during heavy rains that may trigger flashfloods. (Richel V. Umel / MindaNews)