Archive for the ‘dead’ Category

23 drown in another ferry boat mishap

December 15, 2008

The storyline is similar for many ill-fated boats in the Philippines. It’s often a passenger ferry which comes out in a stormy weather then keeling over, causing the deaths of innocent passengers. Disregard of travel advisories, overloading, failure to follow typhoon warnings, inaccurate passenger manifests, and lack of common sense are among the reasons why many of these boats sink.

The tragic tale had been repeated in M/B Mae Jan— the inter-island vessel which sank on Sunday, December 14, 2008 in Aparri, Cagayan. The ill-fated ferry which killed at least 23 people left port in inclement weather with about 80 passengers. Fifteen (15) were reportedly missing and 43 were rescued alive. Overloading was suspected.

Alex De los Santos of the Ballesteros Police Department named 11 identified fatalities as follows: Amy Arellano, Wilfredo Agatao, Angel Suarez, Kristine Cangas, Eva Llopis, Leonardo Llopis, Ofelia Balmes, Paz Escalante, Karen Fadero, Angela Tabo, Abella Arellano. Their bodies and that of 11 other victims were taken to funeral parlors in Aparri for identification.—Inquirer (12/15/08, Kwok, A)

Last month, on November 6, 2008, nine (9) people drowned with Rolly IV, the passenger vessel which sank in Iloilo. The dangerous maritime record of the Philippines will continue so long as no significant government action is done to curb the recurrent sea mishaps. =0=

UPDATE: December 17, 2008. As of presstime the death toll rose to 45 and 8 individuals are still missing. The boat’s owner was reported to be among the dead.

RELATED BLOGS: “RP’s maritime disasters: a harvest of blame and shame” Posted by mesiamd at 11/08/2008; “Ferry boat sinks in Masbate killing 40” Posted by mesiamd at 11/04/2008; “Boat mishap in Iloilo, 9 dead” Posted by mesiamd at 11/06/2008; “The need for witnesses in the Princess of the Stars toxic chemical recovery” Posted by mesiamd at 9/25/2008; “Endosulfan safely retrieved: where are the other toxic chemicals?” Posted by mesiamd at 10/07/2008; “Toxic Cargo” Posted by mesiamd at 6/28/2008; “A Sorry Maritime Safety Record Indeed In The Philippines” posted by myty555 at 11/09/2008

=========================================================

Mexican narcotics gangland: 5,376 murders in 2008

December 9, 2008

If terrorism which alarms the Indians in Mumbai and Pakistanis in Islamabad, half around the world, the Mexicans are worried about the escalation of narcotics-related deaths. Organized slaying south of the border of the United States has doubled since the start of the year. Illegal drug dealers have been fighting for narcotics dominance in their location.

Mexican law enforcement has also been hit by the biggest corruption scandal in a decade in recent months, as more than a dozen high-ranking officials in police and prosecutors’ offices have been detained or charged for allegedly passing information to the cartels.”—AP (12/08/08, Castillo, Ed)

Compared to the 2,477 slayings of last year, the number of drug related deaths in 2008 rose to 117 percent, a total of 5,376 murders. The number is more than 1.5x than the casualty of the terror of 911. The brutal killings in Mexico were results of long-standing quarrels involving trade routes, street sales, and leadership in the narcotics cartel.

The wave of beheadings, mutilations, and shootings prompted the US government to release $197 million, part of the $400 million assistance to support Mexico’s police and soldiers in a cooperative campaign against narco-terrorism.

According to reports, the rise in murders coincides with the split of the Beltran-Leyva gang this year from the dominant cartel headed by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman igniting fightings between competing factions. Moreover, the weakening of the US economy has left many jobless Mexicans lured to the drug business.

A sharp decline in border crossings from Mexico is noted as few jobs for laborers, mainly in agriculture and service jobs, are available. Rising unemployment fuels the illegal drug trade and crime.(Photo Credit: 3.bp.blogspot.com)=0=

===========================================================

"Robbery” in Paranaque subdivision leaves 17 dead

December 5, 2008

One can’t help but be scared with the news that 17 people died in a shoot-out between police officers and alleged robbery gangs of Waray-Waray and Ozamis Group on December 5, 2008.

In the blood bath inside a residential area—the United Paranaque Subdivision, five (5) civilians, eleven (11) suspected thieves and one (1) policeman were killed. Among the dead was Alfonso de Vera, 53 and his 7 year old daughter Avanna.

According to witnesses, they were caught by gun fires from members of the police team as they pursued the suspected robbers. De Vera’s wife theorized that the police might have mistaken their van as one of the getaway vehicles.—PDI (12/05/08, Ramos, M.)

Pending thorough investigation no one for sure knew what went wrong, but the deaths of civilians in this setting raised doubts on the manner the police conducted its operation. There were others who suffered injuries in this incident.

In the past, many innocent people suspiciously died or sustained injuries in similar circumstances. Alarmed people ask if this is another case of “shoot first, investigate later” —a frightening possiblity civilians and police officers find hard to deal with. =0=

When friends will sing no more

November 13, 2008

Whether one gets killed in a battle, perishes at sea, or dies by natural causes, a common thread exists because of the loss. Not a day after I tell Ibalonians of my “maudlin” reaction to the empty chairs and tables pictured in Myty’s blog of the Princess of Stars ship tragedy where more than 800 innocent passengers drowned, I learned with sadness that there was a fine human being who died in the foothills of Albay during a military skirmish some eight years ago.

Maria Graziella Miranda, a brave and idealistic UP Ibalon member of Daraga, Albay was lost in that encounter in Bicol. The details of her demise had been sketchy, making this remembrance even more important.

She joined the ranks of Ibalonian Bantayog ng Bayani hero Floro E. Balce and Ibalon friend Naga-native Alexander Belone II. To memorialize Maria Graziella and her dreams, I post Les Miserable’s Empty Chairs at Empty Tables in her honor. She studied at the College of Music. I enjoin the readers to remember her in prayers. Requiescat in Pace (Photo Credits: Bloomsdayflowers; twol942) =0=

Empty Chairs at Empty Tables
—Marius, Les Miserables (by Victor Hugo)

There’s a grief that can’t be spoken.
There’s a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Now my friends are dead and gone.

Here they talked of revolution.
Here it was they lit the flame.
Here they sang about `tomorrow’
And tomorrow never came.

From the table in the corner
They could see a world reborn
And they rose with voices ringing
I can hear them now!
The very words that they had sung
Became their last communion
On the lonely barricade at dawn.

Oh my friends, my friends forgive me

(The ghosts of those who died on the barricade appear)

That I live and you are gone.
There’s a grief that can’t be spoken.
There’s a pain goes on and on.

Phantom faces at the window.
Phantom shadows on the floor.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

(The ghosts fade away)

Oh my friends, my friends, don’t ask me
What your sacrifice was for
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will sing no more.

============================================================

Ferry boat sinks in Masbate killing 40

November 4, 2008

Barely have we forgotten the horrors of the sinking of Sulpicio Lines’ Princess of the Stars on June 21, 2008, a passenger ferry capsized on Tuesday, November 4, 2008, in Masbate, an island southeast of Manila. With 119 listed passengers and 6 crew members, a possible strong gale or squall swept M/L Don Dexter Cathlyn on its way to Bulan, Sorsogon from Dimasalang, Masbate.

Inconsistent to the official number of passengers in the manifest, at least forty persons (40) were reported to have died, seventy-six (76) had been rescued, and thirteen (13) were unaccounted for. Displayed in the town plaza for grieving relatives to identify, the bodies included 25 women, 5 men, and 4 children between ages 1 to 4.

According to Masbate Provincial police chief Reuben Sindac, the sea was relatively calm and there was no rain or typhoon when the mishap happened. Ship overloading was suspected. GMA News/ AP (11/04/08, Balagtas-See, A)

The sinking of ferry boats and passenger deaths have been recurrent tragic problems in the Philippine maritime industry. Stricter government oversight, safety measures, and accountability have been demanded by the public, but no improvement so far is in sight. (Photo Credits:http://weather-forcast.com; http://philippine.bayaw.com) =0=

UPDATE: November 5, 2008, the death toll in the Masbate sea mishap rises to 42.
PO2 Bernardo Pajalla Jr. of Masbate police has identified the fatalities as of 10 p.m. Tuesday November 4, 2008 as:

1. Michelle Ramirez, 1
2. Ritchinel Andaya, 3
3. Nathaniel Andaya, 6
4. Maricel Ornopia, 30
5. Silvina Gabriel, 58
6. Auria Pasas, 66
7. Rosalie Atabay, 26
8. Rosalina Atabay, 50
9. Crisilda Atabay, 7
10. Cizzia Atabay, 6
11. Joy-joy Atabay,6
12. In-in Nueva, 16
13. Grace Capellan, 48
14. Larganie Capellan, 5
15. Lean Capellan, 2
16. Teresita Abejuela, 40
17. John Paul Abejuela, 6
18. Nenita Matos, 36
19. Charlene Leastardo, 19
20. Jimmy Banaag, 22
21. Filipina Anman, 66
22. Ana Nerbis, 59
23. Consolacion Baybayon, 78
24. Lanie Mahinay, 18
25. Sonia Cordera, 40
26. Adelina Adobas, 74
27. Reynaldo Arcueno, 42
28. Jennifer Mantal, 34
29. Nerie Badillo, 44
30. Jessica Marsonia, 36
31. Benita Hermosa, 67
32. Olympio Blaso, 64
33. Rosalina Pilapil, 50
34. Marichu Apao, 5
35. Parcy Abenir, 6
36. Salud Abenir, 65
37. Rossie Belarmino, 57
38. Marilyn Lleness, 43
39. Christian Ramos, 4
40. Francisca Rondina, 50

Tomb Dwellers of Manila

October 31, 2008

They have lost fear for the ethereal white lady in lavender lace who appears mysteriously under the full moon’s shadow behind the cemetery’s concrete-covered coffins. The cryptic presence of the black cat and the howls of hungry mongrels in the mausoleum aren’t bothersome anymore. In the pitch darkness of the night, the eerie stillness is friendlier in the cemetery than before.

It has been a hushed reality that for years, there are people who live in the cemetery. Grave diggers, sextons and caretakers of tombs may be allowed housing in the vicinity, but in some burial sites in Manila, a throng of people have found their residence among the dead. On All Saint’s day, the tomb dwellers merge with the crowd, paying tribute to the dead.

Two years ago, in Manila North Cemetery, about 6,000 men, women and children reside with the dead. The number keeps growing as the destitute convert the burial ground into a living space, disturbing the resting place of the dead. The poor seems to have no choice.

As of last count, those who sleep, eat, and bathe inside the cemetery have ballooned to more than 10,000. For generations, the government seems tolerant, ignoring the ugly and hapless sight away from the consciousness of the public.

Like the problem of exploding squatters living close to the railroad tracks, poor people who share living space with the dead pose a dilemma to urban planners, health workers, and sanitation engineers. Standard plumbing, water supply, sewer system and regular electric supply aren’t available. However embarrassing, it is clear the government has to do something to put an end to the dangerous environment which the public doesn’t approve.

Arrivals from the provinces unable to afford the high cost of housing are forced to seek a patch of squalid space in the cemetery as they seek jobs in the metropolis of 12 million. In the burial grounds, the thieves, gamblers, drug addicts and homeless roam as the housing shortage worsen.

There is a basketball court nearby. Children play on dirty alleys. They sometimes hold on human ribs and broken skull bones away from the sight of their parents. Smell of stinky effluent and garbage sometimes fill the air. Peddlers have set up stores to make the place a surreal shopping ground. Understandably, the living must not make the cemetery their home. =0=

(Photo Credits: dsrito; Bahag; dsrito; hywell; elmernocheseda)

=========================================================

Celebrating All Saint’s Day

October 31, 2008

Death – the last sleep?
No, it is the final awakening.

~ Walter Scott

The lines calmed my senses when my mother died a few years ago. I thought death as a final awakening could be an epiphany which brings a lot of hope.

Each time I remember a departed soul and I read the words, I feel peace and consolation. I come to think of dying not in ghastly terms, but something glorious, as resplendant as the second coming.

On Saturday November 1, 2008, is All Saints Day. It is the right time to read the lines again. We remember those who passed away—the departed members of the family, our friends and neighbors who mean a lot to us.

In gratitude, we pray for them and celebrate their lives. We recall how much they share— the fleeting joy and the lustful bliss of the earth.

We relish the muffled laughter, the rustle of the gossamer curtain, and the glowing moments of light under which we had fun together. They are all framed in memory which makes the departed truly present within us: comfy warm, intimate, and alive.

In loving remembrance of ten (10) UP Ibalon members who passed away, here is what each of them must be telling us:

Call me by my old familiar name…I am but waiting for you.

Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away in the next room. I am I and you are you: whatever we were to each other; that we are still. Call me by my old familiar name; speak to me in an easy way which you always used.

Put no difference into your tone: wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile. Think of me; pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effort, without the ghost of a shadow on it. Life means that it ever meant.

It is the same as it ever was. There is absolutely unbroken continuity. What is this death but a gateway? I am but waiting for you— for an interval somewhere very near around the corner. “ —Anonymous.

IN MEMORIAM

1. Rebecca (Bebeth) Espeso of Tulay na Lupa, Labo, Camarines Norte; by vehicular accident in Baao, Camarines Sur in April 1976; on her way to Legazpi City with UP Ibalon members to join Kami Minagalang, a humanitarian project of the organization for the Don Susano Memorial Mental Hospital in Cadlan, Pili, Camarines Sur.

2. Floro E. Balce of Daet, Camarines Norte; succumbed to a fatal single excruciating gunshot belly wound from an automatic carbine; in an encounter with the military in Tigaon, Camarines Sur; on July 30, 1978. As Ka Manding, he served selflessly to the cause of helping the poor and the disadvantaged.

3. Manny Raposa of Naga City; a victim of random stabbing in 1978 after stepping out of Max’s in Baclaran with his sweetheart; in Pasay City. A promising Philippine Science High School graduate (PSHS,) his death remained unsolved, one of many in the roster of clueless crimes in the police blotter.

4. Thor (Og) Aldea, from Ligao City, Albay; died of ruptured brain aneurysm in 1983; his 25th death anniversary was recently commemorated by friends at the CSWCD in the UP campus.

5. Siegfredo (Fred) Salva, from Naga City; was run over by a car in a 1989 traffic accident in Makati, Manila. His memory is honored by his Ateneo de Naga High School (AdeN) batchmates thru a scholarship named after him.

6. Juliet (Jake) Repomanta-Siron, from Guinobatan, Albay and Manila; a feminist-activist and a committed women’s rights advocate; worked with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST )where she served as its employees association president; suffered a fatal heart attack while undergoing kidney dialysis about 10 years ago.

7. Karen Canon, died in a vehicular accident while working in line of duty for the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) nearly 10 years ago. UP Ibalon Grace Princesa-Escalante, her boss, took charge of the funeral services only to know of Karen’s membership with Ibalon later.

8. Joni Cadiz of Naga City; a loving father; bravely fought colonic cancer till his untimely demise; brother of UP Ibalonians Joel Anselmo and Jose Fabian.

9. George Evangelio, of Daraga Albay, an engineer-contractor and devoted family man; among those killed in a bus smash-up in Pamplona, Camarines Sur in July 29, 2008 on his way from Manila with his wife who had treatment for cancer.

10. Lourdes (Bajing) Roco, from Naga City, contracted severe unrelenting autoimmune disease (systemic lupus erythematosus,) proximate to finishing school in UP; suffered adverse effects chronic disease and medications; succumbed to a relapse; the admirable youngest sister of Sen. Raul Roco. Sources: A. Baylon & Totie Mesia)

NOTE: The ten UP Ibalon members who passed away will be remembered in a holy sacrifice of the mass on November 2, 2008 at the Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, Ditmars Street, Astoria, New York 11105.

==================RESQUIESCAT IN PACE==================

Photo (Credits: headlesspider; noricum; svf1972; yadnus; pathenson;__)