MANKAYAN, Benguet – The number of missing miners due to a tragic landslide in one of the small-scale mining sites went down to only three following the successive recovery of two cadavers of the individuals who were buried by a collapsed mountain slope at sitio Elizabeth, barangay Taneg over the past few days.
Superintendent Jonathan G. Calixto, commanding officer of the Benguet Provincial Public Safety Company, identified the cadavers of who were earlier reported missing as that belonging to Harold Baturi and Paulita Angel, both natives of Aurora Provinced who were among the 16 individuals that were trapped in the tragic landslide that buried their shanties last August 21.
For now, Calixto said the only missing miners were named as Ronaldo Angel, John Aluyan, Jr. and Mark Balicdan, thus, search and retrieval operations in the landslide affected area will still continue until all the missing individuals shall have been accounted.
He admitted that the on going rescue and retrieval operations in the mine site is one of the most difficult operations that he has handled in his career as a police officer because aside from the huge volume of mud and big boulders that impede the smooth conduct of the operations, rescuers are exposed to eminent danger of being the ones to be buried once there will be a repeat of the landslide from the mountain slope.
Earlier, the bodies of Crispin Ablao, Felimon Adcapan, Armando Dayag, Jasper Olivares, Nardo Mocnangan, Efren Balicdan, Crisanto Ablao, Jose Aluyan, Rocky Manrobang, Ronald Paul Angel and Marvin Collado Baturi.
The police official expressed his gratitude to all the men and women in uniform and volunteer rescuers numbering to around 500 who continued to render their services in the ongoing operations for the immediate retrieval of the remaining missing miners.
According to him, rescuers have to use explosives courtesy of the missing miners in order to rid the site of the big boulders that serve as an construction to the operations.
By Dexter A. See