Son, who lost kin in Iloilo accident: I’ll accept their deaths

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio August 08,2019 - 09:48 PM

The wake of the victims of Barangay Ermita residents, who died in an Iloilo accident are held in the gym of the barangay. The bodies arrived from Iloilo City in the afternoon of Thursday, August 8. | Delta Letigio

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Rommel Baguio, 33, a resident of Barangay Ermita, Cebu City waited for a week for his family to be home from Iloilo after they left Cebu a week ago for the marriage of his younger brother to his long-time partner.

However, his parents, two younger brothers, and other relatives, did not come home alive to Ermita after the motorized Banca they were riding on their way to Guimaras on August 3 capsized due to big waves brought about by heavy winds. 

Rommel and another brother are the only ones left of his family after the tragedy.

“Mingawon gyod ko sa akong mga ginikanan ug sa akong mga igsoon. (I will miss my parents and my siblings),” he said.

Rommel’s family including his parents Romeo Sr. and Angelina, and his younger brothers Romnel along with four other relatives were brought back to Cebu on Thursday evening, August 8, 2019.

His other younger brother, the supposed to be bethrothed, Romeo Jr., was buried in Iloilo close to his partner’s family. 

READ: Bodies of Cebuano victims in Iloilo-Guimaras tragedy to arrive in Cebu on August 8

The Cebu City government has promised to pay for all burial expenses and each family was given financial assistance of P5,000 as well.

Rommel and his relatives plan to bury the remains of their family on Sunday, August 11, as they have chosen to accept the tragic fate of their family members. 

“Akoa nalang dawaton ang ilang pagkawala. Dili nalang nako ibasol sa uban. Aksidente man to tanan (I will accept their deaths. I will no longer blame anyone. It was an accident),” he said. 

However, Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella is not satisfied with simply accepting the deaths of his constituents in the seas off Iloilo and Guimaras. 

He said he will be writing a letter to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Iloilo to further investigate the tragedy where three motorbancas capsized in separate incidents in one day killing 31 individuals. 

“Why did they let the smaller vessels sail when they know the weather was not good? We never learn,” said the mayor.

He said an investigation must be conducted in order to give justice to the lives that were lost at sea.

The mayor encouraged the PCG to be stricter in the implementation of gale warnings and to put the safety of vessels who sail in any weather as the outmost priority./dbs

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TAGS: Angelina, capsized, Ermita, Guimaras, Iloilo, Labella, Romeo Jr., Romeo Sr., Rommel Baguio, Romnel

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