Ormoc City: Almost a month after Motor Banca Kim Nirvanah-B capsized off Ormoc bay, a floating body part was recovered by the Philippine Coast Guard last Friday, bringing the death toll to 63 passengers.
A certain Bano Dela Cruz identified the body part as that of his daughter, 8-year-old Angele Salinas Dela Cruz.
Bano said that he recognized it as his daughter because it was the color of the short pants she wore before she and her mother left home for Pilar Camotes in Cebu province last month.
Coast Guard Station Chief Commander Giovanni Bergantin said only the lower portion of the body was recovered. They did not find the upper portion of the body.
He said the security guard of a fast craft, which was docked at the port, noticed the floating body part that was recovered from the sea and brought to a funeral parlor.
The Scene of the Crime Operatives or SOCO, who examined the body part determined that it was that of a girl wearing a pair of red short pants.
Meanwhile, a clarificatory hearing of the case against the crew and owner of the ill-fated ship was held last Friday.
Through the said hearing, officials will determine whether the multiple murder complaint filed by the police has merit or the charges would be downgraded.
Only seven complainants were present during the hearing. The other complainants who hail from Cebu failed to be present because trips were cancelled due to a gale warning raised by the Coast Guard.
The resolution for the complaint is expected to come out after two weeks, according to Assistant City Prosecutor Erwin James Fabriga.