Rescue fails to find bodies of kids-A A +A
Saturday, November 2, 2013
BOHOL—Prima Empinado stared at her son’s red shirt hanging from a clothesline.
It was the same shirt, she said, that Jess Marvin wore when he and his sister, Meme Jane, left their house in Barangay Katipunan, Sagbayan before the earthquake on Oct. 15.
Prima told them that time not to swim in Bayong Falls because its deep.
Jess Marvin, 10, and Meme Jane, 8, sisters Joellene and Jonalyn Somoro, aged 11 and 13; and Reynald Sipsip, 14, went missing after Bayong Falls collapsed during the 7.2 magnitude earthquake.
Last Wednesday, the retrieval team found their clothes, except Meme Jane’s.
Jess Marvin’s shirt strengthened Prima’s belief that the children were buried beneath the rubble.
“Naa gyud sila diha (They are there in the falls),” said Prima.
Not a body was recovered as the last of the retrieval teams to stay in the area, the Royal Blood Rescue Team from Davao City, opted to stop their operation yesterday afternoon.
“Gihimo na gyud namo ang tanan,” said Junny Apoy, Jr. “Gapaningkamot mi nga bisag usa lang makuha (We did everything).”
Sagbayan Mayor Ricardo Suarez offered a mass in the site.
Last week, Prima’s third child, Rojeme, 3, grabbed two empty gallons.
“Kawos mi kuya tubig (We’re fetching water),” said Rojeme, as quoted by Prima.
She believed her daughter saw Jess Marvin’s spirit.
In Barangay Villaflor, Clarin, the body of Roger Tagsip is among the persons still unaccounted for after the quake.
His father, Domingo, and mother, Estelita, joined the final dawn vigil last Thursday without him. Roger always accompanied them when he was still alive.
“Milagro na lang sa Ginoo kon buhion siya (Only a miracle can save him),” said Estelita.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRMMC) also reported two missing persons in Inabanga and Antequera.
Mayor Suarez said the families of the missing children in Katipunan have not yet received financial aid from a national agency because they were not declared dead.
He said he will give them assistance and let them undergo stress debriefing.
Last Thursday afternoon, Private First Class John Berry Catipay of the Philippine Army said he was spooked when he heard a wailing voice of a girl near the Bayong Falls. He looked around, but he did not see anybody.
For Prima, she always prayed that her children would talk to her in a dream. But her wish is not yet granted.
“Di tingali sila magpadamgo kay mosamot akong kaguol (They will not visit me in a dream because they know it will worry me),” she said.
She said that there were times she told herself to accept her children’s death.
But she insisted sometimes that Jess Marvin and Meme Jane are still alive.
“Kon makakita ko sa ilang gamit, morag nilakaw lang sila nga wa kabalik (They seem like they just left and failed to return),” said Prima.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 02, 2013.