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Metro

Group urges silver cleaner ban after student’s death

Rhodina Villanueva - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - An environment watchdog appealed to the city government of Manila to enforce a 2008 ordinance prohibiting the sale of cyanide-laced silver jewelry cleaner after an honor student killed himself last week.

The EcoWaste Coalition sent a letter to the office of Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada after 16-year-old Alfred Cardeño, a freshman who was taking up education at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM), died after he drank silver cleaner in the restroom of the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception on Sept. 22.

He reportedly obtained the silver cleaner from Divisoria, according to Cardeño’s mother, Maria Theresa.

Cardeño, a full scholar at PLM, graduated with honors at the Lakandula High School and was a former scholar of Caritas de Manila, according to his mother.  He turned 16 on Sept. 15.

“His death has reminded us of the death of another young Manileña, Kristel Tejada, due to the fatal ingestion of silver cleaner in 2013 at her home in Tondo,” Thony Dizon, coordinator of the Eco-Waste Coalition’s Project Protect, said.

“These tragic deaths could have been avoided if Manila City Ordinance 8178 enacted in 2008 is duly enforced,” Dizon added. 

The ordinance bans the retail sale of all metal and jewelry cleaners containing cyanide. 

EcoWaste also urged the Manila city council to increase the penalty for violators of the ordinance, which currently imposes a fine of P5,000, a prison term of a year or both.

ALFRED CARDE

ATILDE

CATHEDRAL OF IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

ECO-WASTE COALITION

KRISTEL TEJADA

LAKANDULA HIGH SCHOOL

MANILA CITY ORDINANCE

MANILA MAYOR JOSEPH ESTRADA

MARIA THERESA

PROJECT PROTECT

THONY DIZON

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