THE thick fog covering the Mt. Balatukan forest made it impossible for the three Agusanon trekkers to follow the trail, resulting in them going missing for three days and two nights before they were rescued.
Gingoog City Police Chief Ariel Philip Pontillas said the three mountaineers were about 20 meters behind from the group.
"Instead nga mag-turn right sila, naka-diritso sila, so wala nila nasundan ang track (Instead of turning right, they went straight, so they lost the track)," he said.
Pontillas said the lost mountaineers spent two nights in the forest using their tents and managed to eat food they brought for the hike.
Pontillas said after trekking for two days, the lost mountaineers finally sighted a farm where they met farmers who then informed the search and rescue team of their whereabouts.
The mountaineers also clarified that they coordinated with the local government unit through a letter sent last December 27, 2019. But Pontillas said the police were not informed about this.
Because of the incident, Pontillas said the Gingoog City Government and police will set protocols to ensure a safe climb in the Mt. Balatukan range.