April 17, 2024

Wanted: Families with missing relatives.
The Benguet Police Provincial Office (BPPO) is asking families with missing relatives to coordinate with the police, which doubled its efforts in identifying six of the eight cadavers that were dumped and retrieved from a ravine along the Palispis-Aspiras (Marcos) Highway in Tuba.
Col. Elmer Ragay, BPPO director, said he has requested the other PPOs and the Baguio City Police Office for a list of missing individuals in their respective areas of jurisdiction. The list would help the BPPO in its efforts to identify the bodies that were recovered at Sitio Poyopoy, Taloy Sur, Tuba on Oct. 15 and 16.
At the same time, Ragay asked families whose members or those whose relatives went missing to proceed to the Damayan Funeral Homes along Marcos Highway for possible identification of the corpses, through DNA cross matching.
“Habang ginagawa ang inventory of missing persons, there are efforts to contact the family through the PPOs concerned. We also want to inform families with missing relatives that the remains are still at Damayan Funeral Homes. Nakunan na ng DNA samples ang mga remains and we will match them with the samples of the (would-be) claimants,” Ragay said.
The two identified cadavers are that of Fahad Manan Macalanggan, 28, of Marawi, and a resident of Pinewood, Crystal Cave and Kent Charlie Licyayo, 22, of Hingyon, Ifugao, and a resident of Block 4, Hilltop, both in Baguio City.
Ragay said Macalanggan, the third cadaver to be retrieved on Oct. 15, was identified by his father and his younger brother through his tattoos and the clothes he was wearing when he went missing on Oct. 8.
Licyayo, the eighth cadaver to be recovered on Oct. 16, was also identified by his parents and his girlfriend through his rings and his clothes, among other things. He also went missing on Oct. 8.
Ragay said the two are familiar with each other.
The following are the other bodies found on Oct. 15, as described and labeled by the BPPO:
Cadaver No. 1 is a male, wearing blue denim pants and a stainless blue-black leather bracelet marked DHL-31. He was estimated to have been dead for more than two weeks.
Cadaver No. 2 is also a male, wearing blue pants and “Adidas” sweatshirt and is estimated to have died more than a month ago.
Cadaver No. 4 is a skeleton believed to be that of a male. Found together with the bones are white “K-Swiss” sneakers, t-shirt marked “Champion,” black denim pants, red belt, and a pair of white socks.
Cadaver No. 5 is also a skeleton believed to be that of a male. Recovered from the area where the bones were found are blue “Wrangler” denim pants, blue jacket marked “www.superwearhk,” and three keys with black tag.
Cadaver No. 6 is a male, wearing a grey t-shirt with tribal letters and black denim pants. It has sustained a wound on the neck and chest and is estimated to be 1.55 meters (5’1”) tall.
Cadaver No. 7 is another male, wearing a blue striped sweatshirt, two silver rings, and a white T-shirt marked “surfing gear page team.” It is estimated to be 1.63 (5’4”) meters tall.
The cadavers and the bones were discovered when residents informed the Tuba Municipal Police Station (MPS) about the foul smell emanating from the ravine.
Maj. James Acod, Tuba police chief, said it is not easy to detect if there are bodies dumped in the area because the Poyopoy ravine is way too steep and deep.
He said the bodies were retrieved 30 meters deep from the highway while that of Licyayo’s, the last cadaver to be recovered, was pulled from a depth of 50 meters.
The retrieval operations were spearheaded by the Tuba Emergency Services, Scene of the Crime Operatives, Tuba MPS, Bureau of Fire Protection, Emergency Medical Services, and 911 On Call.
Acod said the cadavers and the bones were retrieved through rappelling. – Jane B. Cadalig