‘Groufie’ kills 8 as boat overturns in Laguna Lake
A birthday celebration turned into a nightmare for a family in Binangonan, Rizal as eight of their members and friends died while taking a “group selfie” or “groufie” on Sunday afternoon.
Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) chief June Hernandez said eight people, two of them children, were killed after their boat capsized while they were taking a group picture at a fishery in Laguna Lake near Binangonan.
Hernandez identified the fatalities as Rolino Pareño, 43, Weldie Pareño, 42, Neymaret Mendoza, Frederick Orteza, 39, all residents of Taguig City; Malou Gimena, 39, and Marilou Barbo Papa, 44, both from Cainta, Rizal; and Sean Wilfred Orteza, 9, and Jannah Pareño, 2.
Five others, he said, survived, namely: Grace Pareño, 40; Merlita Hominez 43; Gerson Decreto; Joash Pareno, 10; and Maxine Orteza, 7.
“May alleged birthday party raw kaya nagkakainan sila sa bangka. Pauwi na sila nung mag-selfie at ma-out balance yung bangka dahil nasa side sila na walang katig,” Hernandez told INQUIRERr.net over the phone on Monday.
Hernandez said the members of Coast Guard near the area immediately responded when the accident happened at around 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.
The retrieval operations ended at around 6:30 p.m. the same day, he added.
“Marami kasing matulis na kawayan sa lawa kaya hindi rin naging madali. Seven feet din yung lalim at hindi raw marunong lumangoy yung iba sa mga biktima,” Hernandez said.
He also said the boat was partly made of fiber glass, which probably made it hard for the victims to swim up to the lake’s surface.
All the 13 passengers were not wearing any life vests, which Hernandez said could be a possible liability of the operator.
But he said the victims did not mention if they would be filing any charges against the operator, who is also their relative. /kga