Search continues for missing UP prof

Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - November 30, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to coordinate its search for missing University of the Philippines (UP) law professor Ryan Oliva with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the officials of Occidental Mindoro.

Guevarra said agents from the NBI-Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) office have started searching for Oliva.

The UP professor, who also works in the Department of Tourism (DOT) legislative liaison office, has been reported missing for nine days or since Nov. 21.

His family has sought the help of the authorities to locate his whereabouts.

Last Friday, Oliva’s belongings were reportedly found along the shore of Barangay Balikyas in Looc, Occidental Mindoro.

Sources from the PCG said Oliva’s name was not in the lists of passengers who traveled from Batangas to Mindoro from Nov. 22 to 27.

He was last seen on Nov. 22, withdrawing money from an automated teller machine in Cavite.

“Based on our records at the Batangas Port, his name turned out negative. We searched our records between the dates he was reported missing until the recovery of his belongings in Occidental Mindoro,” a PCG official said.

While they have no records of Oliva’s travel  to Mindoro, the PCG cannot rule out the possibility that the lawyer went to the province as the island is accessible by other routes, especially if one would hire a private motorboat.

As to the possibility that Oliva’s bag may have been thrown in Batangas and drifted to the waters of Occidental Mindoro, the source said “that would depend on the current at that time.”

“If the bag is heavy, most likely it would sink. Based on my experience, once a bag is filled with water, it becomes heavier and will sink. But this would depend on the underwater current and it is also possible that the bag was thrown there (Mindoro),” the source said.

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