2 teen girls drown in Laguna river

Published August 14, 2022, 5:03 PM

by Danny Estacio

PILA, Laguna – Two teenage girls reportedly drowned while swimming in a river in Barangay Bulihan Sur here last week.

Police identified victims as Julliane Allyssa Castillo, 11, and Rhialeen Meneses, 14, residents of this town.

Jonnel Escobel, 16, told police that he was with the victims but left them for a while to buy soft drinks in a store a few meters away from the river on August 11. However, when he returned, they were not there.

Store owner Aiza Larazo, 47, told investigators Police Corporal Rodrigo C. Rosales and Police Patrolman Krizzan Jhon Vidad that she saw the victims waving while swimming in the river but did not think they were in danger as she thought they were doing a sign gesture.

Investigators said that the river is only shallow but there is a part that is 30-feet deep which was excavated by a backhoe for unknown reasons. It is where the victims possibly fell and drowned, police said.

Parents of the victims, accompanied by the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team, reported to the Pila police that Castillo was found dead August 12 and Meneses still missing.

Meneses remains were found the following day, August 13.