ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews / 29 June) – Brothers Rolando and Junrey Canillio, aged 10 and 6, respectively, went missing after they joined their mother and a few others to gather seashells and sea cucumber at the coastal village of Buruun on June 25.
The strong currents of a nearby river apparently carried them to the sea, as they were declared missing by 4 p.m., according to Eddie Sumile, operations officer of the 1003 Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary Squadron.
Shortly after, Junrey’s body was found not far from the shoreline of neighboring Linamon town of Lanao del Norte, southwest of Iligan, as the search for Rolando continued. It took four days to finally find the latter’s body.
Captain Dexter Torres, officer-in-charge of Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Northern Mindanao, said Rolando’s body was found farther this time, off the shore of the municipality of Lugait in Misamis Oriental, to Iligan’s north, around 9 a.m. Tuesday.
He said they received a call from Eleazar Casas, chair of the Fisherman Association of Iligan City, informing the Coast Guard that a fisherman saw a cadaver of a child floating offshore in the waters of Lugait.
Torres then directed PCG personnel in Lugait, in coordination with the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and the Rural Health Unit, to search for the body.
Petty Office 3 Ibrahim Jowak, team leader of the PCG Lugait Station, said it took them 30 minutes to find Rolando’s body. Although the cadaver was already in an advanced stage of decomposition, the boy’s mother, Nenita Canillio, was able to identify her son because of the brown shirt and black short pants.
The Canillio brothers’ bodies are now in their residence at Purok 1-A in Buru-un. (Richel V. Umel / MindaNews)