Fifteen people, including two Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) chairpersons, fell ill after eating packed lunch from a popular Chinese-style fastfood chain at a youth convention in Surigao City, police reported Monday.

Angie Mae Labor, 18, SK chair of Brgy. Alipao, Alegria, Surigao del Norte; Siegfred Olojan, 19, SK chair of Brgy. Azucena, Taganaan, Surigao del Norte; and Jefford Balugo, 28, a private employee, were brought to the Miranda Family Hospital where they were found to have suffered acute gastroenteritis, Caraga regional police spokesman Supt. Martin Gamba said.

The 12 others were identified as Alegria municipal youth coordinator Archie Biong, 20; Surigao City coordinator Boyet Aquino, 30; Taganaan coordinator Yumeralyn Opelinia, 18; Dante Caerlang, 25; Jessa Mamado, 20; Marjorie Grace Mosquito, 18; Reynald Bayon, 20; Jovit Aclo, 20; Vicente Villamon, 32; Loreto Jamesula, 28; Marlon Galos, 22; and Herjohn Mantilla, 19.

They were admitted at the Surigao Medical Center after they were found to be suffering from epigastric pain and vomiting, Gamba said.

The alleged food poisoning occurred Saturday afternoon, while the 15 were attending the provincial youth summit at the Provincial Convention Center, he said.

Initial investigation showed that the 15 suffered abdominal pain, headache, frequent bowel movement, and started vomiting a few hours after eating the packed lunch catered by Chowking, Gamba said.

The Surigao City Police Station was only informed of the incident around 8:30 p.m. Saturday, after the victims were taken to the hospitals, he said.

Police are still waiting for results of the laboratory examination to determine if the food had indeed caused the victims to fall ill, Gamba said. (John Roson)

– end –