BulSU to help probe drowning incident

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MALOLOS CITY: Officials of the Bulacan State University (BulSU) on Friday said they will help in the investigation of the drowning incident that killed seven of their tourism students in San Miguel town on Tuesday.

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BulSU President Dr. Mariano De Jesus said a committee has been formed to assist authorities in probing the field trip that turned out into a tragedy.

De Jesus also said the school will give full support to the victims and survivors of the field trip that turned into a tragedy.

“We will help in the investigation of this unfortunate incident. Meantime I am calling every one to pray for our beloved students,” he said.

Students and faculty members of BulSU will hold a prayer vigil where they will light candles after a holy mass in a show of sympathy for the victims.

On Thursday, the body of former Eat Bulaga Babe Maiko Eleva Ison Bartolome was found under a big rock where she might have been trapped and covered with logs.

Rescuers could not easily penetrate that location because of a deep portion of a Madlum cave surrounded by trees.

Bartolome was the last among the seven freshmen tourism students who were swept away by raging waters triggered by a sudden downpour during a field trip at the Biak-na-Bato national park.

The other fatalities were Mikhail Alcantara, Phil Rodney Alejo, Michelle Ann Rose Bonzo, Helena Marcelo, Jenette Rivera and Madel Navarro.

Two other students who also crossed the river, Daniel Cunanan and Thea Hernandez, survived and were rescued.

The victims were among the tourism students who joined a field trip at the historic Madlum cave where Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo established the headquarters of Filipino Revolutionaries during the Philippine-Spanish war.

Authorities are investigating why no teachers accompanied the students who trekked the then calm river before a torrent of cascading water swept them away at the height of a sudden downpour.

The Commission on Higher Education said BulSU may have been careless in following procedures when conducting a field trip.

It said the school failed to submit the proper paperwork, which includes a risk assessment of the educational trip.

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, who personally supervised the search and rescue operation, has issued an executive order banning field trips at the scenic but accident prone tourist spot until the local government can ensure that it is safe for the public.

PNA

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