Charred body found in Duljo fire site as authorities continue search of still missing resident
CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES—The missing individual of the fire that razed 18 houses in Barangay Duljo Fatima on Saturday evening, January 5, has not yet been found.
Instead, a charred body of an unidentified individual was found by the officers of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) who were doing an overhauling in the fire site in search of the missing Christian Lopez.
In an earlier report of Cebu Daily News Digital, Duljo Barangay Councilman Gian Godofredo, who also heads the barangay’s risk reduction and management team, said that Christian Lopez, who had been missing since the fire, was found safe and sound by his family.
But on Sunday evening, January 6, Godofredo admitted to Cebu Daily News Digital that he had not confirmed the information with Lopez’s parents and relied on the accounts of the missing man’s close relatives.
“Naghinaot ra man gyod ko nga buhi siya. Daghan kog nakahinabi nga paryente niya nga nisalig ra sad ko. Naglahi-lahi ilang gipangsulti pero base sa ilahang mga estorya, ningtuo ko nga nauli gyod siya,” said Godofredo in a phonecall.
(I was hoping that he was alive. I have talked to many of his relatives and I trusted them. Their statements differed but based on their stories, I believed that he was alive.)
“Karon naa daw nakit-an nga lawas dapit sa ila gipangitaan ni Christian. Ako gyod ning adtoon ug I will personally investigate the matter because until now I still hope that he is alive,” said Godofredo.
(Now, there was a body found near the area where they were looking for Christian. I will go there and I will personally investigate the matter because until now I am still hoping he is alive.)
Lopez’s mother, Estrella Diaz-Lopez, told Cebu Daily News Digital in a phone interview on Sunday, January 6, that her son had not yet been found.
She heard of the burnt body found near the lot where their house once stood, but she said she could not bear to look at the body.
“Di ko ganahan motan-aw. Dili lang ko motan-aw. (I do not want to look at the body. I will not look at it),” said Estrella, who together with the other fire victims were temporarily staying at makeshift tents in a lot near the fire site.
Estrella clarified that her son had not yet been seen since the fire, and his phone could not be reached as well.
“Ambot lang if buhi pa siya (Lopez). Di na ko segurado. (I don’t know if he is alive. I am no longer sure),” she said.
Estrella said she was waiting for the results of the investigations of the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) on the identity of the found body.
According to Chief Inspector Randy Caballes, the Mambaling Police Station chief, the body which was found at around 3 p.m. would be sent to a crime laboratory to undergo testing.
The body may undergo a DNA and a dental test for identification.
Caballes said that the body was charred all over, and there no longer remained any identifiable parts. /dbs
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.