CERVANTES, Ilocos Sur – Two sisters died while another student was rescued from drowning while swimming in Gatlingan River in Barangay Commillas South, Cervantes, Ilocos Sur, on New Year’s Day here.
Senior Inspector Joel Lagto, Cervantes town chief of police, identified the fatalities as Rizalina Daducao, 20, a student of the University of Cordillera, and her elder sister Rica Mae Daducao, 22, a student of Adamson University, residents of Barangay Bullalakaw, Mankayan, Benguet province.
The sisters’ companion, Josie Ann Panganiban, 15, also a resident of Barangay Bullalakaw, was saved by residents in the area.
Police said the drowning incident happened at 3:30 p.m. while the victims’ family members were celebrating New Year’s Day beside the river.
Local residents rescued the three victims a few minutes after the incident, but the two sisters were declared dead on arrival at the Bessang Pass Memorial Hospital in Cervantes town proper. (Freddie G. Lazaro)