Boy dies in riprap collapse

By: Melissa Q. Cabahug, Michelle Joy L. Padayhag, Norman V. Mendoza |September 15,2015 - 11:12 AM
Residents of sitio Kalubihan of the neighboring barangay Casili in Mandaue City look at what remained of the rented house where Vicente Cariquitan, Jr. died after being buries in the rubble for hours. (CDN PHOTO/ JUNJIE MENDOZA)

Residents of sitio Kalubihan of the neighboring barangay Casili in Mandaue City look at what remained of the rented house where Vicente Cariquitan, Jr. died after being buries in the rubble for hours. (CDN PHOTO/ JUNJIE MENDOZA)

Vicente Cariquitan Jr. was  supposed to turn 14 years old today, but his family won’t celebrate his birthday  with lechon manok (roasted chicken) as they had planned.

The boy’s lifeless body was  pulled out yesterday  from the rubble of  his  house,  which was crushed by a riprap that collapsed during  heavy rain in barangay Tawason, Mandaue City.

Paramedics  of the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation (ERUF), recovered his body at 1:13 a.m.

A riprap of the Villa Sebastiana Subdivision  collapsed on the house where the Cariquitan family rented space with four other families.

The private subdivision is owned by AIDFAZ Development Corp., which headed by the uncles and aunt of Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes.

The house is owned by Helen Magale. The families of Dolie Libre, Ednalyn and Ryan Tonilon, Arbel Doro and Marcelino Llanto were advised by Tawason barangay chairman Jesus Arcilla to stay for the meantime in one of the houses owned by Magale.

The ERUF team pulled out Vicente’s older brother Vladimir alive from the rubble at 11:03 p.m.

They recovered Vicente’s  remains two hours later.  Vicente was found curled up in a fetal position, leading some officials to believe he died in his sleep, unaware of the disaster.

Three-year-old sister Chrisley just  had bump on her head and minor cuts.

The boy’s  family has been  renting a room in the house for P900 a month for the past decade.

Barangay Tawason is landslide prone, according to Felix Suico Jr., head of the Mandaue city disaster office.

It was the first time they encountered a landslide, said the boy’s  mother.

She said the family  won’t file a complaint against the developer but would  ask for financial assistance.

“What we want is to improve our  living conditions, to ask them help us. We weren’t able to save anything, only the clothes we are wearing,” she said.

The mother said she was cooking supper when one of her daughters told her that a fellow boarder advised them to leave the house because  rocks were falling from  above.

She told her children to leave the house but didn’t know three of them were still inside.

Her husband, Vicente Sr., a quality control supervisor of Mandaue Compressed Gases Corp., saved Chrisley from being buried. He, too, wasn’t aware that  two of their seven children were still inside.

Vladimir, who survived, was confined at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC).

Arcilla said the barangay will shoulder the burial expenses.

Dive Mendoza, marketing head of AIDFADZ Development Corp., said the company is owned by Ariston Cortes Sr., the mayor’s grandfather and the mayor’s uncles Ignacio, Demetrio Sr., Felizberta, Ariston Jr. and Zoilo.

Villa Sebastiana is named after the mayor’s grandmother.

Mendoza said they secured complete permits before building a subdivision.

Mayor Cortes denied owning a party of the cocompany, and confirmed that his uncles own it.

But his brother, Mandaue City Councilor Demetrio Cortes Jr., said otherwise.

“Oo, kami, pero akong papa gyod niadto ang tag-iya ana (Yes. We are the co-owner but my father is the original owner of it),” he said.

The mayor ordered an investigation into the collapsed riprap.

Mendoza said they would shoulder the hospital and burial expenses, and give groceries and other items to the Cariquitan family.

She said one of the company officials is interested in sponsoring the studies of one of the children.

She said what happened last Sunday afternoon was an accident.

The contractor, Engr. Franco Hubert, had stopped work due to the rains last week.

Roger Paller, information officer of Mandaue City Hall, corrected reports that  Arcilla was the contractor. He said Arcilla’s equipment was rented by Engr. Hubert.

Mendoza said only the Cariquitan family was affected after Engr. Hubert advised the other families to leave the house since it could be hit by a landslide.

Aside from Villa Sebastiana, AIDFAZ Development Corp.  owns the Mandaue Park built in the ’80s and the Villa Sebastiana Subdivision in barangay Jagobiao in 2007.

Pagasa Mactan chief Alfredo Quiblat Jr. said yesterday’s rains was caused by the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ).

“The intense rains will also cause flash floods and landslides. We are advising everyone to take precautionary measures,” Quiblat said.

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