At least 12 bodies recovered from buried DPWH building

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – Rescuers at the buried Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Building in Natonin, Mountain Province, have recovered a total of 12 bodies after the team found 4 more remains at the landslide site on Friday, November 2.

Four of the identified dead were residents from Sitio Ha'rang in Barangay Banawel  while the rest were from two construction firms. 

DPWH-Mountain Province said 4 of those recovered on Friday included just a torso.

Juventino Lammawen, a local, was the only one rescued so far. His neighbors JR Gollingoy and Jupiter Pakyod of RAF Construction were able to escape in time. 

The DPWH identified the dead as Juanito Longan, Virginia Catet, John Tinmakcheg and Benito Longan, who were all from the area; Elberto Botco from RAF; and Gregorio Castro, Joel Arevalo, and Jun Jun Laron from Moment Diagram. 

Earlier, the 77th Infantry Battalion said that 3 of the dead and two of the missing were members of the CAFGU Active Auxiliary (CAA) under Alfa Company, 77th Infantry Battalion (IB) based in Aguinaldo, Ifugao. They were said to be moonlighting as construction workers for RAF since they only worked as CAFGU for half a month. 

The 3 dead CAFGUs were identified as CAA Leobel Orchilion, CAA Linang Pallichang, and CAA Jonathan Ngilin while the two missing were not identified by the 77th IB. It added that all 5 were on leave.

The 3 were not listed as dead in the DPWH list, however. 

Twenty of those who sought shelter inside the building remain unaccounted for. 

Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary Marie Banaag, former Natonin mayor, said President Rodrigo Duterte was not able to land in the area last November 1, but Mountain Province Governor Bonifacio Lacwasan Jr gave him updates while they conducted an aerial inspection. 

Rescue equipment and provisions for the survivors and 200 rescuers would be provided by Cordillera and Cagayan Valley, according to Banaag. 

The road from the site up to Paracelis had been cleared, authorities said.

The DPWH Second Engineering District building got buried by a landslide triggered by heavy rain from Typhoon Rosita (Yutu) in the afternoon of October 30. 

Two others from Natonin were killed outside the area, including one who was on his way to help in the rescue. – Rappler.com