DILG secretary wants Benguet police chief sacked over Lando deaths

By , on October 22, 2015

Interior Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento (Facebook photo)
Interior Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento (Facebook photo)

MANILA – Senior Superintendent David Lacsan was ordered relieved from his post as the Benguet police provincial director for the lack of preparation after the province suffered the highest number of casualties during the rage of Typhoon Lando (international name: Koppu).

Interior and Local Government Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento sent the directive to Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ricardo Marquez.

“I asked the PNP chief to relieve the PD (police director) of Benguet. What did he do? Why did that happen?” Sarmiento asked.

Even with Lando easing into a low-pressure area (LPA) yesterday, the storm’s death toll still reached 58 while thousands others remained in evacuation centers and lost ruined crops and drowned livestock.

Of the 58 casualties, 20 were from the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), 13 from Central Luzon, nine from Iloilo, eight from Region 1, five from Region 2, two from Quezon City and one from Laguna.

The deaths were mostly caused by drowning, but some died of electrocution and some still from suffering injuries after being hit by crumbling walls. One person died due to a snake bite as well.

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), a total of P6.7 billion has already been lost for the damage of crops and infrastructure.

Areas flooded; people still in evacuation centers

About 300 villages had been submerged in Central and Northern Luzon. But with the floods still not yet subsiding, more than 107,000 people remained in evacuation centers, according to the NDRRMC.

As of posting, around 81 low-lying barangays in Candaba, San Luis, Arayat and San Simon in Pampanga remained flooded. In Candaba alone, 16 barangays remained submerged in 10-feet floodwaters. And in San Luis, 13 barangays were submerged in 7-foot flood, while 15 villages in Arayat were also submerged in 8-feet flood.

President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III earlier warned that the rainfall that fell on northern Luzon will be coming downstream, especially affecting barangays and villages near rivers.