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Police say solving milk tea deaths a challenge

/ 06:16 PM April 15, 2015

Solving the case of mysterious milk tea deaths in Manila is a challenge to the police, but the Philippine National Police has said it won’t hesitate to seek help from government agencies to speed up the case.

Compared with shooting incidents police investigators look into, PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr. said it was not easy for the police to immediately find out what caused the deaths of two persons in the apparent poisoning incident.

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“In shooting incidents, police have a general idea on the cause of death. We would just look into the bullet’s point of entry, the gun’s caliber, the fatal wound. So basically, we have the general idea. We just have to find other details,” Cerbo said.

“We will be willing to coordinate with agencies that have capabilities to detect the poisonous substance (that killed the two victims),” the police spokesperson said, adding there should be one government approach and that they could seek the help of the National Bureau of Investigation, Department of Health and the private sector.

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“We have to identify specifically,” he added. “Hindi pwede ‘yung nalason lang (We can’t just say they were poisoned).”

The Manila Police District earlier admitted it did not have the capability to detect the alleged toxic substance in the “Hokkaido”-flavored milk tea that killed instantly ErgoCha Milk Tea House owner William Abrigo and customer Suzaine Dagohoy and critically affected Dagohoy’s boyfriend Arnold Aydalla.

Abrigo and Dagohoy died after taking a sip of the milk tea the latter and her boyfriend ordered at the store on Thursday, April 9. Abrigo collapsed after tasting for himself the milk tea he prepared for Dagohoy, who fell unconscious after complaining that the drink was foul-tasting.

READ: 2 die after drinking milk tea in Manila | Milk tea kills 2 in Manila in 3 minutes; police can’t say what happened

Aydalla also took a sip but he immediately spat it out. He was then rushed to the hospital while Abrigo died some three minutes after tasting the beverage. Dagohoy was declared dead two hours after the store owner died. Aydalla is currently in stable condition.

The MPD then submitted the milk tea specimen from the store to the DOH and the Food and Drug Administration.

The milk tea samples tested negative for toxic substance contrary to the autopsy report of Dagohoy that showed “shock secondary to ingestion of toxic substance.” RC

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DOH: No toxic substance found in milk tea sample

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TAGS: deaths, ErgoCha, Manila, Milk Tea, poisoning
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