By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
IT WAS a mournful homecoming for Cebuanos as seven of the nine members of the Baguio family who died in the Iloilo Strait tragedy arrived in Cebu on Thursday.
The seven caskets were airlifted by the C-130 plane of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) and arrived at Mactan Air Base on Thursday.
Two of the members of the family – Romeo Baguio Jr., 29 and his three-year-old son Jay Arvien Baguio – remained in Iloilo City for now.
The seven caskets contained the remains of Romeo’s parents Angelina Baguio, 54, and Romeo Baguio Sr., 56; brother Rommel Baguio, 31, and his wife Danilyn Baguio, 27, and their son, Danelle Baguio, 3; and his uncle Bernardo Janson, 56, and grandson, Jared Janson, 5.
The Baguio and Janson families travelled from Cebu to Guimaras to formally ask the hand of Ma. Nieves Grandeza, 28, Romeo Jr.’s fiancée.
Grandeza and the nine members of the Baguio family, were onboard Motor Banca Jenny Vince when a “squall” or pugada caused their boat to capsize in the Iloilo Strait on Saturday.
Only Grandeza survived.
The remains of the seven casualties are in the gym of Barangay Ermita in Cebu City.
Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella met and consoled the bereaved families on Thursday.
The mayor also extended financial assistance to the family. He assured that the city government of Cebu will also help them with the burial expenses.
He added that he will write a letter to the Philippine Coast Guard to request for a deeper investigation on the sea incident.
Labella also ordered the strict monitoring of pump boat operations in Barangays Pasil, Suba and Sawang Calero in Cebu City to prevent similar accidents from happening. (With a report from Cebu City Public Information Office)