Latest Stories

2 UPLB students drown in Makiling stream


CAMP PACIANO RIZAL, Laguna—The decomposed bodies of two junior students of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), who were reported missing since Sunday, were found on Thursday afternoon along the Mt. Makiling hiking trail inside the UPLB campus.

The two students—Mark Lorenz Valdez, a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition student from Muntinlupa City, and Kevin Lagadon, a BS Computer Science student from Caloocan City—had died due to drowning, according to an autopsy by the regional police crime laboratory released on Friday.

Senior Supt. Fausto Manzanilla, Laguna police director, in a text message on Friday, said the students were identified by their families and friends through the pair of shorts Lagadon was wearing and the shirt and towel of Valdez that were found on the scene.

A group of residents, who were planning to swim in the area, found the two wearing shorts without a shirt, floating in the shallow part of a stream in a portion of the trail where a huge boulder formation called Flatrocks is located. Flatrocks, about 250 meters above sea level, is located about 1 kilometer from Station 1, the registration area of the Makiling trail. From that point, one hikes 700 meters to the second station and takes another 300 meters to reach Flatrocks.

The students were believed to have been dead for days since the bodies were already “bloated and in the state of decomposition,” Manzanilla said.

Valdez was a member of the UPLB sociocultural organization, Kapatirang Plebians, and was a former member of the student college council.

UPLB student and Kapatirang Plebians president Ren de Leon said Valdez and Lagadon went missing since Sunday.

Valdez’s roommates at New Dorm, the on-campus dormitory for students, said the two went hiking to Mt. Makiling on Sunday.

Police ruled out foul play in the death of the two, as the autopsy results showed there were no external wounds except for some minor abrasions on their faces, possibly caused when their bodies hit against the rocks.

“Their lungs and trachea, however, were swollen and hemorrhagic. That’s why we were able to conclude that they drowned,” said Supt. Roy Camarillo, M.D., chief of the police medico-legal division.

He disproved earlier reports that the students died of fraternity hazing.

“It’s possible that people who first saw the bodies thought there were bruises because the cadavers were already greenish. But actually, those were signs of decomposition,” he said.

Chief Insp. Conrado Masongsong, Los Baños police chief, said the two could have drowned in a deep portion of the water.

“There’s this part that is beyond the average height of a person. They must have not known it was deep. (Valdez’s) father said his son was not a good swimmer,” he said.

Based on the logbook that Valdez had signed at the trail’s jump-off, the two went hiking on Dec. 2 at around 9:05 a.m. Hikers were supposed to log in and out of the trail but the two never logged out.

Masongsong said the person manning the jump-off had overlooked that the students were still inside the trail, as there were really some who camped out in the peak.

“He said his shift ends at 4 p.m.,” said Masongsong.

He said there would be no further investigation with the case now closed.

UPLB officials have yet to issue a statement.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Accident , drowning , Mt. Makiling , UPLB

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima


  • 4 Etihad passengers not yet located
  • DAR to complete installation of Luisita land reform beneficiaries in May
  • Ex-COA chief and co-accused in Arroyo plunder case nabbed
  • Kris Aquino’s ex- close in security named new Air Force chief
  • The ‘link diagram’ that killed ex-Bataan police officer
  • Sports

  • NLEX holds off Jumbo Plastic for a playoff berth
  • Pacquiao can dodge tax issues
  • F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone rejects bribery charges
  • Big Chill freezes Cafe France to arrest skid
  • Pacquiao has to go through PBA Rookie draft
  • Lifestyle

  • A haven for steak lovers
  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Tiff with HK over Luneta hostage fiasco finally over
  • DOLE sees more Filipinos hired by South Koreans
  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
  • Marketplace