3 dead in sinking of boat
Vessel carried mostly students attending Math contestPhilippine Daily Inquirer
KIDAPAWAN CITY—Three persons are dead while two others are missing when a boat carrying mostly students bound for a Math contest sank in Kabacan, North Cotabato, on Wednesday, according to authorities yesterday.
Cedric Mantawil, chair of the Kabacan municipal disaster risk reduction management council, said the bodies of the dead were recovered from the Pulangui River a few hours after the sinking.
They were identified as Lilibeth Mandayas, 42, of President Roxas, North Cotabato; Bobong Marabe, 42, and his nine-year-old son Bobby Marabe, of Carmen, North Cotabato.
Search teams are looking for two missing passengers of the boat identified as Maryjane Abarca, 42, of Kabacan and Grade 3 pupil Geneve Saliling also of Kabacan.
Mantawil said the boat was sailing on the Pulangui River bound for Kabacan. Most of its passengers are elementary students traveling to Kabacan to attend a Math Olympiad at the University of Southern Mindanao, he said.
According to Mantawil, an investigation yielded information that the boat was overloaded. He said it has a capacity of 10 but was carrying 18 people and cargo at the time of the sinking.
Another boat overtook the ill-fated vessel, causing waves to topple the boat carrying the students, said Mantawil.
He said officials had to call off a search and rescue operation on Wednesday for the missing passengers because of the river’s strong current.
The operation resumed yesterday, according to Mantawil.
“We are still searching,” said Daniel Saliling, village chair of Tamped, Kabacan. Williamor Magbanua and Edwin Fernandez, Inquirer Mindanao