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PIA Press Release

PGMA visits Masbate to comfort survivors, condole with victims of ferry tragedy

Manila (10 November) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will arrive in Masbate Monday to personally comfort the survivors and families of the 42 people who perished when the M/B Don Dexter capsized last Nov. 4 off the coast of Dimasalang here.

Local government officials lead by Gov. Elisa Kho and Third district Congresswoman Rizalina Seachon-Lanete will welcome the President who is set to arrive at 10 a.m. at the Palanas Central Elementary School in Palanas, some 20 kilometers from Dimasalang town.

Other officials on site upon the arrival of the President include Palanas Mayor Silvestre Alvarez, Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) commander Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit, Philippine National Police (PNP) provincial chief Supt. Paterno Bangui and school principal Julie Abela.

From the Palanas Central Elementary School, the President will motor to the Abejuella residence in Palanas Poblacion where the wake is being held for Teresita Abejuella and her five-year-old son John Paul.

The President will also hold an informal interaction with the survivors of the sea mishap as well as members of the bereaved families. Out of the 105 survivors, 43 came from Palanas.

A sudden gust of wind (locally known as 'subasko') caused the Don Dexter, a 20-footer motorized banca bound for Bulan, Sorsogon, to overturn almost one hour after it left Dimasalang town in clear weather at 2 p.m.

Local social and welfare officials said 10 people are still missing in the worst sea accident since the sinking of the Sulpicio Lines' owned and operated-M/V Princess of the Stars off Romblon province at the height of a typhoon, killing over 700 people.

Local government officials and Gene Zuniega, owner of the ill-fated inter-island ferry boat, have already extended P20,000 each to the families of the 42 casualties.

The survivors also received financial assistance, aside from food and clothing, bringing the total amount given to the victims to P1.68 million from the provincial government, Dimasalang municipal office, Zuniega and the local social and welfare office.

Other casualties include Michelle Ramirez, Richelyn Andaya, Dallaniel Andaya, Maricel Ornopia, Silvina Gabriel, Auria Basas, Rosalina Atabay, Rosalie Lumagpas, Criselda Atabay, Krissia Atabay, Joyjoy Atabay, In-In Neuva, Grace Capellan, Larganie, Lean Capellan, Nenita Matos, Charlene Gastardo, Jenny Banaag, Filipina Auman, Ana Nerbis, Consolacion Baybayon, Lanie Mahinay, Sonia Codera, Adelina Adobas, Reynaldo Arcueno, Jennifer Mantel, Nerie Almosura Badillo, Jessica Marsonia, Benita Hermosa, Olympio Blaso, Rosalina Pilapil, Marichu Apao, Parcy and Salud Abenir, Rosie Belarmino, Marilyn Lleneses, Christian Ramiso, Francisa Rondina, Grace Atazar and Lonie Mahinay. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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