Two UPLB students drown in Mt Makiling
Autopsy results established the cause of their death to be asphyxiation by drowning

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna – Two UP Los Baños (UPLB) students were found dead in the afternoon of Thursday, December 6, in Flatrocks, Mt Makiling.

Residents of Los Baños found two male dead bodies whose identities were confirmed by relatives. They were Mark Lorenz Valdez and Kevin Lagadon.

Valdez was a BS Nutrition student, while Lagadon was a BS Computer Science student. Autopsy results established the cause of their death to be asphyxiation by drowning.

A statement from UPLB Public Relations office said the two students logged in at the monitoring station of the Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems (MCME) of the UPLB College of Forestry and Natural Resources on December 2.

The MCME monitoring station tracks people who go to Flatrocks and two other favorite ecotourism sites, Mudspring and Peak 2. Flatrocks is a 5-minute climb from the monitoring station.

Upon discovery of the two bodies, UPLB, which has jurisdiction over the Mt Makiling Forest Reserve, alerted the Los Baños Police that immediately dispatched a Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) team.

The SOCO team said the bodies bore no external wounds. A subsequent autopsy at the Funeraria Regina in Los Baños established that asphyxiation by drowning was the cause of death.

The UPLB administration is closely monitoring security and undertaking steps to ensure peace and order as well as safety of students on campus.

In October 2011, another Computer Science student, 19-year-old Grace Cebanico, was abducted and believed to be raped on her way to her dormitory. Her body was found in a canal in Barangay Putho-Tuntungin.

In March this year, another 19-year-old BS Agriculture student, Bernard Peñaranda, was stabbed in the chest by motorcycle-riding men who held him up, along with his two companions. He was rushed to the hospital but was declared dead on arrival. –

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