Boy, 1, falls into floor hole, drowns in Lapu-Lapu

CHRISTMAS would not be merry for the family of Daniel Berdon of Barangay Ibo, Lapu-Lapu City after his one-year-old son drowned on Wednesday night, Dec. 4, 2019.

The Berdons’ stilt house is located in Sitio Apro, a coastal area in Ibo.

According to Daniel, his three-year-old son, Luke, had been playing with Dexter inside the house around 11 p.m. before Dexter fell into the seawater from the hole in the floor.

Daniel said it was Luke who informed his siblings about Dexter’s fate.

The hole was covered with a plank of wood to avoid accident. However, the wood could be moved as it was not attached to the floor with nails.

“I don’t why this happened,” Daniel said in Cebuano.

Luke reportedly pushed Dexter before the latter fell into the hole.

Daniel said nobody noticed when Dexter fell into the water. His children were already looking for him when Luke informed them of the accident.

He added that they did not hear any cry from the toddler.

Daniel admitted that due to the family’s dire financial condition they were not able to repair the hole in the floor. His wife was not in the house at the time of the accident as she was attending to other important matters.

Daniel has no stable income as a mechanic since he has no regular customers. His wife also has no work.

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan took care of Dexter’s burial expenses and he gave the Berdon family cash assistance.

Dexter will be buried on Monday, Dec. 9, in the city.

Past incidents

Similar incidents happened in 2003—two babies died after they fell into the river in Cebu City.

Reports from SunStar Cebu’s archives identified the fatalities as Jean Rose Martorillas and Joefel Manuela.

One-year-old Martorillas on June 11, 2003, was sleeping with her mother when their one-room wooden house in Barangay Sambag 1 fell into the rain-swollen Guadalupe River. Rosalie, the girl’s mother, hugged her baby tightly. But the strong currents washed Jean Rose out of her arms.

Less than a month later, 45-day-old Manuela plunged into the Guadalupe River beneath her home. Police investigators, the mother and relatives were puzzled how the baby fell into the river when she could not even crawl yet.

Ofelia, the baby’s mother, said that on the evening of June 30, 2003, she and her four children were sleeping in their shanty on the riverbank of V. Rama Ave., Cebu City.

On the morning of July 1, Ofelia was awakened by her six-year-old son who was looking for his younger sister. She later found the baby floating in the river, about eight meters from their house.

The incident drew investigation. Ofelia’s sister Jocelyn alleged that Ofelia was a drug user.

Jocelyn, who lived near Ofelia’s shanty, said she heard something splash into the river; she did not mind it, thinking it was just a cat. She was later informed about the baby’s death.

Ofelia admitted she was a drug user, but she had already stopped. She said she could not harm her baby. (GCM/MVG)


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