Deadly ‘lambanog’ came from Quezon, says PNP
SAN PEDRO CITY — Authorities have found the distillery that manufactured the brand of “lambanog” (coconut wine) that blamed for at least eight deaths in Laguna province last week.
Supt. Chitadel Gaoiran, spokesperson for the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) regional police, on Monday said police traced the source of the lambanog sold in Laguna to Candelaria town in Quezon province.
She did not identify the manufacturer, saying an investigation had yet to be completed.
In Santa Rosa City, relatives of four people who died after drinking lambanog had not filed any complaint as of Monday, said Supt. Eugene Orate, city police chief.
Dr. Dennis Labro, health officer of Calamba City, where another four people died, said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found high levels of methanol in the lambanog samples from Barangay Sucol.
“We still have no idea whether [the methanol] was mixed into the drink or it was part of the [manufacturing] process. But what’s for sure is methanol should not be ingested, as it is very toxic to humans,” he said.
“It is highly probable that [the methanol] was the cause of their death,” he added.
The Calamba City health office last week met with more than 80 villagers who drank lambanog in recent weeks. Village officials banned the sale of lambanog, advising residents to refrain from any alcoholic drink until the FDA test results were out.
In Quezon, a lambanog supplier in Candelaria complained of a slump in sales following reports of deaths in Laguna.
“We’ve all stopped doing business, even the small lambanog stores, because no one is buying,” said the source.
He said it was a “terrible blow” to the local liquor industry. —Maricar Cinco and Delfin T. Mallari Jr.
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