13-year-old Vicente Cariquitan Jr. died yesterday, September 14, 2015, after hours of being buried when a riprap collapsed on the boarding house where he and his family lived. The accident happened at Sitio Kalubihan, Barangay Casili, Mandaue City. Today was supposed to be his birthday. His body was recovered by rescuers from Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation (ERUF) at 1:13 AM yesterday. His brother, Vladimir, was admitted at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC). Their 3-year-old sister Chrisley sustained only minor injuries, a bump on her head and minor wounds.
The riprap was a part of the Villa Sebastiana Subdivision, developed by the AIDFAZ Development Corp., a company owned by relatives of the Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes who is rumoured to be a co-owner of the company. The mayor denies being involved in the company but his brother, Mandaue City Councilor Demetrio Cortes Jr., says that their family does own part since the founder was their father. The incident is being investigated, under orders of the mayor.
When the landslide happened, both parents were unaware that 3 of their children were still inside the house. The mother only learned that rocks were falling from her daughter who learned from a neighbor.
The family resided in a single room in the boarding house for P900 a month for 10 years with 4 other families residing in the same house. The house was owned by Helen Magale who offered her tenants to stay in another house she owns. The Cariquitan family has no plans of seeking legal action against the developer but asks for monetary support.
As reported by Cebu Daily News, head of marketing of AIDFADZ Development Corp., Dive Mendoza said the company would shoulder the expenses of the burial and hospitalization the family incurred as a result of the accident, including groceries and others. He also said that the hired contractor, Engr. Franco Hubert, had warned the other families of a possible landslide that would hit the house, which explaining that was why the Cariquitan family were the only ones who suffered in the incident. One of the officials of the company is willing to pay for the education of one of the children.
Photo credits: Cebu Daily News