Las Piñas food ‘poisoning’ a mystery

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Authorities are yet to determine the cause of death of a couple who were found unconscious at the parking area of a mall in Las Piñas City on Thursday evening.

Initial investigation revealed that the couple, Juliet and Jose Maria Escano, ordered food at the drive through of a McDonald’s outlet located at a gasoline station along Diosdado Macapagal Avenue in Pasay City at 9:30 a.m. on July 9.

Juliet was found unconscious in the front seat of their vehicle while her husband was found on the pavement behind the vehicle at around 7:30 p.m.

Juliet, a bank manager, was pronounced dead on arrival at the Metro South Medical Center in Barangay Molino, Bacoor City in Cavite. Her husband, a pharmaceutical sales manager, died the next day at 3 a.m. at the Las Piñas Medical Center.


A receipt was found inside the victims’ vehicle, while another receipt was handed to the investigators by the couple’s son showing that the couple ordered a beverage from a convenience store in Alabang at 1:51 p.m. on the same day.

Chief Inspector Rey Viloria from the Las Pinas City Police Public Information Office said they submitted to the Anti-Cybercrime Division in Camp Crame the CCTV footages from the Evia Mall, McDonald’s and 7-11 convenience store where the couple was said to have purchased food on that day.

According to the forensic examination conducted by the Philippine National Police, the victims died due to “shock, secondary to ingestion of (a) toxic substance.”

Viloria, however, appealed to the public to stop speculating that the Escanos died of food poisoning. He added that investigations are still ongoing.

The convenience store has yet to issue a statement on the incident.

In an official statement, the management of McDonald’s extended condolences to the family of the couple. It also vowed full cooperation in the ongoing investigation.

The food chain however asked the public not to speculate on the cause of death. It said the food and drinks they serve are safe, and they strictly follow food safety and quality standards.

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