MANILA, Philippines – Two of the 5 fatalities during a concert in Pasay City over the weekend died because of a heart attack.
This was the latest update given by Police Chief Inspector Rolando Baula of the Pasay City's Station Investigation Division Management Branch in an interview with CNN Philippines on Monday afternoon, May 23.
"'Yung cadaver ni Lance Garcia, pati 'yung kay Ma'am Bianca Fontejon, ang initial findings ng NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) Medical Office, ang cause ng death nila, ang initial findings ay massive heart attack," said Baula.
(For Lance Garcia and Ma'am Bianca Fontejon, the initial findings of the NBI Medical Office is that the cause of death was massive heart attack.)
Fontejon, 18 years old, and Garcia, 36 years old, died along with 3 others after attending the "Closeup Forever Summer" outdoor concert held at the Mall of Asia (MOA) concert grounds on Saturday evening, May 21.
The other victims include American Eric Anthony Miller, 33; Ariel Leal, 22; and Ken Migawa, 18. They were found unconscious at different parts of the concert venue and declared dead at the hospitals they were rushed to.
Garcia, Leal, and Migawa were taken to the San Juan de Dios Hospital early Sunday, May 22, while Fontejon and Miller were brought to the Manila Doctors Hospital.
On Monday, Baula said they are looking at 3 angles behind the deaths: drugs, heatstroke, and even poisoning.
"Ang anggulong tinitignan namin dito unang-una, kung meron 'yung pagkamatay nila merong kaakibat na drugs or pangalawa, kung 'yung pagkamatay nila dahil sa heatstroke dahil sa sobrang dami ng tao. Tapos 'yung isa naman, kung merong poisoning," said Baula.
(We're looking at different angles here, first of which is drugs. Second is heatstroke because the concert venue was so crowded. We're also looking at poisoning.)
Baula emphasized that the investigation is still ongoing. The NBI has now taken over the probe.
Permission for autopsies
According to Baula, Leal's family already said they will not allow an autopsy of the victim's body, while the police are waiting for Migawa's relatives to arrive in the country to secure permission for an autopsy.
As for Miller, Baula said they coordinating with the US Embassy, which already received the police's initial incident report.
"Closeup Forever Summer" was billed as the "summer's biggest rave party" by Closeup, organizing agency Activations Advertising, and staging agency Eventscape.
The organizers confirmed the incident in a Facebook post on Sunday afternoon, saying it happened "despite very stringent measures and precautions" in place.
They said they are fully cooperating with the authorities and are extending their "deepest sympathies" to the victims' families.