46 bodies recovered from Benguet landslides

BENGUET, Philippines (UPDATED) – A sudden but quick jolt on noon of Tuesday, September 18, startled dozens of rescuers in Itogon but they shrugged it off and continued searching for the missing bodies from two massive landslides.

The earthquake, according to Philvolcs-DOST, struck with a magnitude of 3.7 at 12:27 pm with epicenter near Alaminos, Pangasinan. 

There were a few shoutouts on Facebook but in Itogon, it was back to business. 

“Ohmaygod! The earth is shaking,” posted Dr. Rodrigo Leal of SOCO Cordillera, whose main job is identifying the bodies slowly being recovered. 

Leal said that there is nil chance of finding anyone alive, because of the immense volume of soil and rocks that fell in Loacan and Ucab barangays in Itogon last Saturday because of Typhoon Ompong. 

As of 10 am on Wednesday, September 19, a total of 46 bodies have been recovered while 60 remained missing. At least 15 were reported injured from the landslides.

The recovered bodies in Ucab include:

Those found in Loacan include:

Those in Poblacion include Hope Carino, Jennifer Jamayo Carino, Jerry Cuti and Candoy Lagayo.

The bodies found in Ampucao are of Mary Ramos Elong and Billy Boy Elong.

The body found in Dalupirip remained unknown.  

Some of the relatives were asked to wait for President Duterte on the site as early as noon on Monday, but they were brought instead to the Benguet Capitol about two hours away.

They were made to wait until 7 pm when President Duterte met them briefly in a closed-door meeting. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.