Lambanog poisoning death count rises to 15 people
This Christmas Eve, the people who died after drinking lambanog has increased to a total of 15 people.
12 residents from Rizal town in Laguna have died the past week, and 3 people were killed in Candelaria, Quezon due to lambanog (palm wine) methanol (legal alcohol) poisoning. It is one of the most prominent drinks in the Southern Luzon.
Meanwhile, 300 people suffered from stomach pains and were admitted to the hospital during the weekend.
A State of Emergency was declared by Rizal Mayor Vener Munoz due to several deaths in the vicinity. Financial aid were also given to the victims.
28 more people admitted themselves to the hospital, according to Munoz. The patients are being treated at Philippine General Hospital in Manila.
The liquor was manufactured in Candelaria, in which the owner of the “Rey Lambanog” wine brand Fred Rey declared his innocence before the police on Monday.
He promised to offer financial help for the victims, and faced a complaint of negligence resulting to multiple homicide. Despite this, the police cannot arrest him as the distillery was registered and it was operating legally.
To prevent further incidents, CALABARZON police director Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. banned the store owners from selling the suspected liquor until further notice. This ban is only temporary, and is supported by the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office of Candelaria.
The Lambanog contains significant amounts of methanol, which is banned by the FDA from being used as an extender of alcohol. It is a natural component of lambanog, but it should be removed through a certain process.
Photo credits to Inquirer.net