DOST researcher drowns in Basilan tourist spot

MANILA, Philippines – A 26-year-old researcher of the Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) died Saturday, September 28, after drowning at a local tourist spot in Maluso, Basilan 

The victim was identified as Desire Mae Somobay of Zamboanga City. Somobay was part of a  DOST-FNRI research team that had been doing a socio-economic profile of Maluso.  

The team had just finished its fieldwork for the day and had been out to visit what locals call the “Mahayhay Jacuzzi" when the incident happened. They had been accompanied by barangay and military officials. 

According to the Maluso local government, the group did not notice “the heavy falls of water coming from the upper part of the river.” The barangay officials and military men accompanying the group were able to help everyone except Somobay. 

Her body was recovered 2 hours later. She was then brought to an Isabela City hospital and declared dead before her arrival by the attending physician. – with a report from Richard Falcatan/