December 8, 2022

The body of a 14-year-old girl who was swept by the raging river in Tuel, Tublay, Benguet on July 31 was found by authorities at a riverbank in Balluay, Sablan, Benguet after 11 days of non-stop search and retrieval operation.
The body of Deserie Lagman Empleo was brought home in Tuel after the search and retrieval team composed of personnel of Tublay Municipal Police Station, Bureau of Fire Protection, Regional Explosives Ordinance Division Canine Unit-Cordillera, and civilian volunteers found her body on the evening of Aug. 10.
Empleo was reportedly walking with her sister along the Tuhok River at Sitio Asin, Tuel on July 31 when she suddenly slipped and fell to the raging river.
Government personnel, civilian volunteers, and family members of the victim immediately conducted the search despite the monsoon rains that hampered the search and retrieval operation.
BFP-Tublay said it took them some time to look for the victim due to the monsoon rains. It was only when the rains ceased that the water levels decreased and they were able to search for the victim’s body.
Mayor Armando Lauro said the municipal government has provided assistance for the burial of the minor.
Meanwhile, the body of another drowning victim, Jomar Guillermo Turqueza, 28 of Abualan, San Juan, Abra is yet to be found.
Turqueza was crossing the Malanas River with his brother and a friend when the river’s current swept him in the afternoon of Aug. 2.
Earlier, the body of Joseph Luis Barbosa also from San Juan, was recovered in Santa, Ilocos Sur after a day of search and retrieval operation.
The Office of the Civil Defense-Cordillera reminded the public, especially those living along the riverside, to take extra measures when crossing or walking along the river. – Ofelia C. Empian