By Martin Sadongdong
The body of another passenger of the ill-fated M/B Jenny Vince, one of the three boats that sunk in Iloilo Strait due to bad weather on Saturday, was found by the Philippine Air Force (PAF) in the waters off Guimaras Island Monday morning, bringing the latest death toll to 28.
Major Aristedes Galang Jr., Air Force public affairs office chief, said members of the PAF’s 505th Search and Rescue Group were aboard a Super Huey II aircraft while conducting a search, rescue and retrieval operations when they spotted the body of the 28th fatality floating on Guimaras Strait around 8 a.m.
The body of the victim was eventually fetched by Coast Guard personnel after coordination. The victim was later identified as one Romeo Baguio Sr.
According to authorities, Baguio’s family was based in Cebu, and was just on vacation in Guimaras when the accident happened.
Baguio was brought to the West Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo City for temporary safekeeping.
On Saturday, the bodies of five family members of Baguio — Angelina, Rommel, Danelle, Jay Arven and Romeo Jr. — were also found by authorities.
Meanwhile, National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) Executive Director Ricardo Jalad said he has already requested the deployment of C-130 planes from the PAF to assist in the transfer of survivors and retrieved bodies to Batangas, Cebu and Mindanao areas.
Galang said the PAF’s Tactical Operations Group-Iloilo transported hundreds of stranded passengers from Parola Wharf to Lapuz Port in Iloilo City via KM450 and M35 trucks.
Authorities were still conducting search, rescue and retrieval operations along Iloilo-Guimaras Strait and Dumangas waters to try and account for the remaining missing persons.
Three motorized boats namely M/Bs Chi-chi, Keziah 2 and Jenny Vince capsized at Iloilo Strait — which separates the city from the island-province of Guimaras — on Saturday afternoon.