Special child, 10, drowns

January 26, 2019

A 10-YEAR-old ‘special child’ drowned while trying to cross a river on his way home from school in Sergio Osmeña, Zamboanga Del Norte last Thursday evening, police said.

The tragic case of the Grade 1 female pupil of the Sergio Osmeña Central School’s Special Education Program again put into light the plight of poor children in the provinces who have to walk long stretches and cross dangerous rivers just to reach their school.

An investigation showed that the victim was with his 19-year old sister and another brother, also 10 years old when they tried to cross the Kabebeth River in Poblacion Bajo on their way home around 6:30 p.m. Thursday. A Police Regional Office 9 report described the three siblings as special children residing in Purok 1, Bgy. Penacio in the same municipality.

Police said that the victim was carried away by the strong river current, after a heavy rainfall.

A search-and-rescue operation launched by local barangay officials led by councilman Teofilo Benigay was immediately launched, said PRO9 director, Chief Superintendent Emmanuel Luis D. Licup.

Around 9:30 a.m. Friday, the body of the child was found behind a 40-foot waterfall two kilometers away from the area where she disappeared. The victim suffered head and body injuries.