Family, friends express disbelief over ‘no foul play’ ruling on Flatrocks case

by Ma. Khrisma Soliven and Levi Joshua Verora Jr. with reports from Gumamela Celes Bejarin and Kezia Grace Jungco

Los Baños, Laguna- The family and friends of the two students found dead at Flatrocks, Mt. Makiling showed their disbelief regarding the autopsy result.

The bodies, correctly identified by their respective families as Mark Lorenz Valdez and Kevin Lagadon, both students of UP Los Baños, were autopsied Friday (December 7) morning by SOCO led by Superintendent Roy Camarillo. After the autopsy, they declared the cause of death as asphyxia due to drowning. It was also estimated that they were dead for about four to five days.  Los Baños Police Chief Inspector Conrado Masongsong also ruled the case as ‘closed.’

Meanwhile, the two students’ respective families and friends had other things to say over the ruling that the Flatrocks tragedy was an accident.

Retired Muntinlupa police Vergilio Sagum, Mark Lorenz’s uncle, was unsatisfied when it comes to the investigation of the PNP and UPLB-University Police Force. Mr. Sagum said that there should have been a sense of urgency or a mandatory search from the police when they found out that two people were not able to log out from the Makiling Trail log book during Sunday.

Kahit pa weekend yan e, basta nasa loob ka ng campus dapat responsable ang pulis sayo (When you are inside the campus, whether during weekends, the police should be responsible for you),” says Mr. Sagum. He is also puzzled why the bodies were only discovered last Thursday. “Tingnan mo, kung Thursday lang sila nakita, at Sunday sila namatay, ibig bang sabihin Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, walang nagpunta ng Flatrocks? (They died Sunday and were recovered Thursday, would it mean that there were no visitors who came to Flatrocks from Monday to Wednesday?)” added Mr. Sagum.

He would also want to see the log book that contains the attendance of visitors entering the Makiling Trail. He also noted that nobody realized that Kevin and Mark Lorenz were missing until the news of two bodies discovered at the Makiling Trail came out. He would also like to find some information regarding the rumored seven more people who trekked minutes after Kevin and Mark Lorenz logged-in.

Mr. Marlou Valdez, the father of Mark Lorenz also disagrees with the results. He told The LB Times that there were some marks at the back of Mark Lorenz. His hand bag and mobile phone were also missing when they vacated Mark Enzo’s room. He seeks for further information and at the same time, justice for the two students.

The College of Human Ecology (CHE) Student Council likewise believes that there could have been foul play involved. Chairperson Ayesha Sarapuddin noted the negligence of the authority saying that they could have searched along the Trail when they found out that two visitors were not able to log out.

Likewise, students who have already been to the Flatrocks before said that the water level there is too shallow for someone to be drowned.

The Los Baños Times went to the PNP at Brgy. Baybayin for the log book. According to the police, the results of the investigation and the log book were already in the provincial office.

As of this writing, the two students’ remains are at their respective hometowns. The Los Baños Times is still gathering more information regarding the incident.

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