‘Grief killed him’

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo, USJ-R Journalism Intern Zena V. Magto September 28,2018 - 11:35 PM

FAMILY IN MOURNING: Wife Florencia
(in wheelchair) and relatives of Felipe Dejillas, 76, surround his coffin at his wake held inside the tennis court in Barangay East Poblacion, Naga City on Sept. 29, 2018. Dejillas was grief stricken over the death of 15 members of his clan and got ill at the evacuation center
before he died in a
hospital in Cebu City on Sept. 28, 2018.

Felipe Dejillas survived the killer landslide that hit Sitio Sindulan in Barangay Tinaan, Naga CIty on September 20.

But 76-year-old Dejillas did not survive the grief brought about by the loss of 15 of his relatives who perished in the landslide.

Dejillas is an uncle of Marcelina Campanilla who was buried in the landslide along with her husband, children and grandchildren.

“Paghuman sa landslide nagsugod nga di siya mokaon, nagluya unya maglisod og ginhawa. Guol gyud kaayo siya na iyang pag-umangkon, mga apo ug sungkod ato nga side kay nahurot gyod,” said John Marvi Bacus, a grandson of Dejillas.

(After the landslide, he had been refusing to eat, became dejected and had difficulty breathing. He was grief-stricken that his niece and grandchildren on that side of his family were all gone.)

Dejillas, who stayed at the Enan Chiong Activity Center (ECAC) along with more than 1,500 evacuees , was brought to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) on Monday, Sept. 24, but after he complained of having difficulty in breathing before he died from cardiac arrest and lung complications at dawn on Friday, September 28.

“Gidala namo siya Lunes sa buntag pero nakabalik pa mi. Gibalik namo siya Martes kay lisod na sya’g ginhawa. Di na sya mokaon didto, ang dextrose iyang tangtangon,” Bacus said.

(We brought him to the hospital on Monday morning but we were able to return to the evacuation center on the same day. We brought him back on Tuesday because he had difficulty breathing. He would not eat and would remove his intravenous dextrose.)

Dejillas’ wheelchair-bound wife, Florencia, 77, cried in front of her husbands’ coffin during the wake held inside the tennis court in East Poblacion while her children and grandchildren consoled her.

Forty-three year-old Maribel Tabuñag, Dejillas’ daughter, attempted a smile in front of her mother, in an attempt to cheer her up.

“Daghan kaayo’g nawad-an. Magpasalamat na lang gani ta kay nahipos nato siya og tarong, wala siya nasakitan nga namatay. Nipahuway na gyud si papa,” Tabuñag told her mother.

(There were many who died. We should just be thankful that we are now able to give him a decent burial and he was not in pain when he died. Papa is now resting).

Tabuñag added: “Wala man pod tay mabasol kay giatiman man gyod siya ngadto sa hospital, wa man siya gipasagdan (We also could not blame anyone because the hospital really took good care of him).”

Dejillas’ remains were brought to the tennis court of Barangay East Poblacion with 13 other casualties from the landslide. He will be laid to rest on Sunday, September 30.

Financial aid

While Dejillas was not counted as a casualty of the landslide, Naga City Mayor Kristine Vanessa Chiong has referred his family to St. Francis Funeral Homes, which was commissioned by the city government to service those who perished in the landslide.

Chiong had earlier promised that the city government would shoulder the medical expenses of the injured survivors and the funeral services for the
fatalities.

A P20,000 cash aid is also set to be released to both the injured and the family of the fatalities.

Apo Land and Quarry Corporation (ALQC), the quarry company that has mining rights over the landslide-hit Sitio Tagaytay, also promised to provide financial assistance for the casualties and injured persons.

ALQC representative Chito Maniago said on Friday that they have already given P30,000 cash assistance to each of the families of at least 18 casualties. The number of fatalities, as of 6 p.m. on Friday, has already climbed to 69.

He said that they will also give P10,000 aid to each of the injured persons recorded by the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

EOC, as of Friday afternoon, has verified at least 18 individuals injured from the landslide.

Alhough the number of missing persons was closed at 20 on Friday afternoon, the incident management team (IMT) said they were yet to verify the number because relatives of the residents in Sitios Sindulan and Tagaytay still came to them to report missing relatives.

At least 1,733 families, or 7,155 individuals, from Barangays Tinaan, Naalad, Mainit, Cabungahan, Pangdan, and Inoburan are housed in 11 evacuation centers after Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, after visiting the evacuation site on Sept. 21, recommended the forced evacuation of all families within a one-kilometer radius from ground zero.

The evacuation centers include Naga Central Elementary School (355 families), ECAC (387 families), Naalad Elementary School (179 families), Apo Cemex Covered Court (91 families), Naga National High School (275 families), Colon Elementary School (116 families), Mormons Church (26 families), Cepoc Central School (33 families), Langtad Elementary School (177 families), Cabungahan Covered Court (30 families) and San Fernando Complex (64 families).

The Office of the Civil Defense (OCD-7) has already activated the Post Disaster Needs Assessment in order to identify the actual needs of the affected individuals.

Help has continued to pour for the landslide victims in Naga City.

As of 3 p.m., the City Treasurer’s Office has recorded a total of P7,613,463.25 in financial aid.

Chiong said that the amount will be used to sustain the 11 evacuation centers pending the development of a permanent relocation site.

The mayor added that the remaining amount will be given to the displaced families once the relocation site is established.

Unsafe zones

On Friday, the Naga City government expected that the team of geologists from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Central Office to present the delineation of unsafe zones from ground zero.

The DENR team was supposed to give the boundaries of the immediate danger zone from ground zero, but as of 6 p.m. , Chiong said the team was still finalizing the coordinates of the unsafe zone boundaries.

Chiong added that once the DENR team will complete the mapping, a team will be deployed on the ground to verify the number of houses that will have to be completely abandoned.

The city government of Naga, meanwhile, has emphasized three top necessities for all evacuation centers: bottled water, medicine, and hygiene kits.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development in Central Visayas (DSWD-7) recommended that the city stop accepting donations of used clothing.

Aside from the decreasing storage capacity and heavy load on the repackers, the agency reiterated factors on sanitation and proper hygiene.

Other than the hygiene issues, Josephine Delotindos, chief of the Disater Response Management Division of DSWD-7, said that giving evacuees used clothes would not be good for their morale.

Earlier, DSWD-7 Director Ma. Evelyn Macapobre appealed to the public to give only clean sets of clothes and undergarments to the affected families.

In order to ensure that safe drinking water will be available for the evacuees, the Lions Clubs International-District 301-B2 donated 20 Jerry cans with
installed water purifiers to the Naga City government.

E-coli and fecal coliform contamination has earlier been reported in five evacuation centers in Naga City.

The Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD) went to Naga City on Thursday to conduct water sampling for the confirmatory test to identify where the contamination came from.

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