By Argyll Geducos
Malacañang said President Duterte may go to Iloilo to check on the condition of survivors and families of fatalities of three maritime accidents at the Iloilo Strait on Saturday.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo made the disclosure after it was reported that the number of persons who died in the sea mishaps climbed to 28 Monday.
In his Monday press briefing, Panelo said it was possible that Duterte will go to Iloilo to check on the situation.
“Given the character and style of the president, that’s a probability. Meanwhile, we condole with the families of the victims that perished in those mishaps,” he said.
Meanwhile, Panelo said authorities should be more prudent in giving warnings or advisories on disasters.
“I think, whoever is responsible in securing the folks during storms should exercise more prudence, caution, and should give the people more guidelines relative to facing this kind of disasters,” he said.
In a separate statement, Panelo said the Office of the President directed all concerned agencies, including the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), to provide immediate assistance to the victims of the tragedy and refine their coordination efforts in safeguarding the security of the public especially during this rainy season.
Three motorized boats capsized in the Iloilo Strait on Saturday afternoon. It was learned that the boats sailed despite heavy rains in Western Visayas.
The first tragedy occurred at noon on Saturday when strong winds and waves hit passenger vessels M/B Chichi and M/B Kezia which were both traversing the Guimaras Strait.
At around 3 p.m., another passenger boat plying the Iloilo-Gumiaras sea route, the M/B Jenny Vince, also capsized due to bad weather.
READ MORE: 26 dead, 9 missing in sea mishaps