MANILA, Philippines -- Police crime laboratory personnel are still piecing together the puzzle posed by a can of sardines that allegedly caused the death of an 18-year-old man and downed two other people, including a 10-year-old boy, in Quezon City.
Chief Inspector Felimon Porciuncula, head of the Quezon City Police District Crime Laboratory Services Office, told Inquirer they have yet to establish if the small can of sardines was indeed directly responsible for the death through food poisoning of Ronald Piad of 83 Area 6 Sitio (sub-village) Cabuyao, Barangay (village) Sauyo, in Novaliches.
Piad?s mother, Glenda Regaya, and his cousin and neighbor Raymund Belesario also became ill allegedly because of the same can of sardines.
?We are still conducting tests on the can and traces of the sardines left inside it,? Porciuncula said, pointing out that he expected the test results to take long due to inadequate facilities at the laboratory.
He said the label and expiration date on the can indicated that the sardines were fit for human consumption until 2010. The crime laboratory has taken hold of the empty can and six other unopened cans of the same brand of sardines, all of the same batch bought from a corner store.
Porciuncula said he will forward the evidence to the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) should the QCPD Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit ask him to do so.
Piad was declared dead on arrival by Dr. Rodrigo Ria Eulin at around 8:40 p.m. Wednesday night at the East Avenue Medical Center. His mother and cousin underwent treatment in the same hospital and were confined for several days after they too showed signs of food poisoning.
The QCPD-CIDU took over the investigation of the case on the request of Manuel Papina, Glenda?s common-law husband, who reported the incident to the unit late afternoon of Friday.
Police Officer 2 Joselito Gagaza, QCPD investigator, told Inquirer that the victims consumed the sardines at around 8 p.m. Tuesday inside their home. Before the incident, Regaya had asked Piad to buy seven cans of sardines from the nearby corner store.
Gagaza said that instead of cooking the sardines, the two opted for ?fast food.?
?They ate the sardines straight from the can,? the investigator said.
When Raymond dropped by for a visit, Piad and Regaya invited him to dine with them. By 5 a.m. the next day, the boy had a stomach ache.
Piad and Regaya began to vomit and complain of nausea and stomach pains. It was only at around 8:25 p.m. Wednesday that they were taken to the hospital.
?They want to sue for the death and the discomfort suffered by the two other victims. But we still have to wait for the laboratory examination results to determine who should be held liable for the incident,? Gagaza said.