PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte yesterday visited the victims of the deadly landslide that struck near a quarry site in Naga City in Cebu.
Duterte was supposed to grace the 25th anniversary celebration of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process in Pasay City yesterday afternoon but his attendance in the event was canceled.
It was not immediately clear if the cancellation was made to give way for the President’s visit to Naga where he also reportedly conducted an aerial inspection of the landslide area.
After Naga, Duterte will proceed to Lapu-Lapu City to attend a gathering of health professionals. He will then fly to Cagayan de Oro City to visit wounded soldiers.
At least 22 people died in the landslide that buried several houses in Barangay Naalad and Sitio Sindulan in Barangay Tinaan early Thursday morning following heavy overnight rains.
Nine people have been rescued while several others remained missing, according to the Naga City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.
Hundreds of residents also fled to an evacuation center following the landslide.
Ahead of Duterte’s visit to the mishap site, Malacañang expressed its condolences to the victims of the deadly landslide.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. expressed the Palace sentiment as authorities continued their rescue operations for residents who may have been trapped under the debris.
“Nakikiramay po kami doon sa mga naging biktima ng landslide sa Naga at asahan niyo po na lahat naman po ay gagawin ng gobyerno para maibsan ‘yung dalamhati na nadarama ng mga biktima,” Roque said at a news conference.
“Titignan po natin kung papaano natin maiiwasan ang mga ganitong pangyayari sa mga darating pang mga panahon,” he added.
Rescuers were still unable to determine the number of people inside the houses at the time of the landslide that struck Barangay Naalad and Sitio Sindulan at Barangay Tinaan early Thursday morning, possibly caused by heavy overnight rains.