Issue of June 18, 2017
     
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Search on for missing Korean in Mt Province
by Ofelia C. Empian

The Korean Embassy is now helping in the ongoing search and rescue operation by a 20-man team for the Korean hiker who went missing on June 13 in the mountains of Barlig, Mountain Province.

Barlig Municipal Police Station Chief Barnard Navarra said the Korean hiker identified as Choi Sungkyu went on a solo hike and refused to have a tour guide with him.

He said the search and rescue team is divided into two groups, composed of Barlig Municipal Police Station personnel, Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office personnel, government personnel, local tourist guides and representatives from the Korean Embassy.

The 56-years old hiker was monitored when he arrived in Barlig, Mountain Province on June 7 from Sagada.

Choi, according to the police report, checked in at Halfway Inn and Restaurant in Barlig.

By June 9, Choi checked out of the inn and informed the owner that he will visit the Unesco heritage site, the Batad Rice Terraces,  in Banaue, Ifugao.

A resident named Miguel Lagkio was the last person who saw Choi at around 9:30 a.m. at Sitio Chator, Barangay Latang and said he was heading towards Barangay Pula in Banaue. The police said Barangay Pula is a way going to Batad.

On the afternoon of June 13, a local policeman was able to contact Choi and asked for his location. The Korean described the area as a place with many pine trees and said that he is very weak.

Choi informed the police officer that he is putting off his cellular phone to conserve battery power.

Early the following day, the Barlig Municipal Police Station received a report from the Korean Embassy informing them that Choi was alive and on a big rock in the mountains.

The Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office personnel, concerned citizens, and PNP personnel proceeded to sitios Ammiw and Furud in Barangay Latang where big rocks are located. The team searched the area but Choi could not be found.

The Police Regional Office-Cordillera said the Barlig MPS coordinated with the Ifugao MPS in search for Choi.


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