HEAVY rains brought by typhoon “Amang” triggered a landslide in a rebel-infested village in the boundary of Santiago and Jabonga, Agusan del Norte killing four treasure-hunters late Sunday night, a belated Police Regional Office 13 report said yesterday.
Three others were also trapped under tons of rock and mud that destroyed a mining site in Mount Manpuhaw and were also believed to have been killed, the PRO13 said.
According to PRO13 director Chief Supt. Gilbert DC Cruz, a businesswoman named Jasmin Iligan went to the Santiago Municipal Police Station in Surigao del Sur shortly before Monday midnight and reported that at around 9 p.m. on Sunday, her husband Rene and his companions who were involved in treasure-hunting were trapped in a landslide in Mount Manpuhaw located at the boundary of Santiago and Jabonga, Agusan del Norte.
Cruz said that the bodies of four of the victims were recovered by their relatives. He identified the fatalities as Rene Iligan, Ramil Naño Iligan, Casiano Tagunsulod Iligan and Tata Salasay.
The bodies were transported to Sitio Kasagayan, Bgy. Poblacion 2 in Santiago municipality as rescuers continued their search for the missing three more treasure hunters.
According to the woman, her husband and his fellow treasure hunters she identified as the two Ilagans, Salasay, Alan Daging, Jay-ay Matanog and “Gang-Gang” were buried in a landslide that struck the place, where they were digging for supposed buried treasures.
The place is believed to be heavily-infested with New People’s Army guerrillas. It is about 25 kilometers away from Bgy. Poblacion and could be reached by walking for 8-10 hours and crossing two rivers.
Members of the Santiago Municipal Police Station discovered that one of the miners identified as Daging survived the landslide and was brought to the Agusan del Norte Provincial Hospital in Butuan City.
The survivor, however, cannot give exact details on what really happened due to the extent of the injuries he suffered.
Cruz said that the local police have been working with the Army and government agencies in looking for the other missing victims.