Rescuers on Saturday were still searching for a former police chief of Baggao, Cagayan, and his companions after the van they were riding on fell off a cliff and into a creek.

“Hanggang ngayon wala pa rin kaming makita doon, ang huli naming na-recover ay ‘yung sliding door ng van noon pang umaga,” Insp. Gerry Roque, Baggao Police deputy chief, said in a phone interview 5 p.m.

“Sana nga (nakaligtas sila)… pero kung makikita mo ‘yung pinangyarihan saka ‘yung itsura ng van, ipe-pray na lang natin na ma-recover ‘yung bangkay,” he said.

Retired Chief Insp. Dominador Serquinia’s van fell off the cliff at Sitio Goloran, Brgy. Bitag, around 6 a.m. Friday.

“Gumulong-gulong, nabasag ‘yung windshield niya at pagkatapos ay nayupi-yupi… malalim (ang kinabagsakan), more or less 30 meters kasi bundok ito. Bumulusok ‘yung sasakyan pababa, hanggang dumiretso dun sa may creek,” Roque said.

The creek’s water level and current were higher and stronger than usual because of the heavy rain that fell the night before, according to the police official.

Serquinia’s son, who is also a policeman, confirmed that the van found at the creek was his father’s, Roque said.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Managment Council reported that seven people were in the van but Roque said “witnesses” only saw four, including Serquinia.

Businessmen in Baggao sent heavy equipment to assist rescuers in lifting the van. (John Roson)

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