Four drownings reported in Western Visayas

By Jennifer P. Rendon

The Police Regional Office (PRO) 6 reported four fatalities from drowning on Good Friday and Black Saturday, March 29 and 30, in Western Visayas.

The deceased were identified as Ronaldo Billiones, 50, from Barangay Catmon, Panay, Capiz; Jeffrey Marinduque, 27, from Barangay Sebucuan, Isabela, Negros Occidental; Nestor Rafiñan, 43, from Barangay Nasuli A, Tobias Fornier, Antique; and a five-year-old boy from Barangay Haguimit, La Carlota, Negros Occidental.

Billiones, a construction worker, went swimming with his friend Wilson Bayhon in a river in Barangay Pasugue, Panitan, Capiz after a morning drinking session on Friday.

Witnesses later observed him signaling for help. Henry Distor attempted a rescue but Billiones was unconscious by then.

Despite the Bureau of Fire Protection – Panitan Station’s efforts and swift transport to Bailan District Hospital, he did not survive.

In a separate incident, Marinduque, a sugarcane worker, drowned in the Binalbagan River in Barangay 1, Moises Padilla, on Friday afternoon.

He was with his family when he was found motionless in the overflow. His mother discovered him unresponsive. Marinduque was pronounced dead at the Moises Padilla Health Infirmary.

That same afternoon, Rafiñan drowned while swimming with relatives off the coast of Barangay Iba, Anini-y, Antique.

He reportedly dived under and did not resurface. Rescued by family members, Rafiñan was declared dead on arrival at the President Diosdado Macapagal District Hospital.

The following day, in La Carlota City, a five-year-old boy drowned at Linaw Bubong in Barangay San Miguel. After going to feed their carabao with their father and siblings, the boy entered the deep part of the river.

Upon his return, the father found a local resident performing first aid to revive the boy. He was rushed to Don Salvador Benedicto Memorial District Hospital but was also pronounced dead on arrival.