Man perching on tall coconut tree for days
Bryner L. Diaz (The Freeman) - November 3, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines – No longer used to the hallucinating effects of drugs, a man who was allegedly forced to sniff shabu by his friend climbed up a coconut tree and had stayed at the top for almost five days now, leaving his family and neighbors anxious in Barangay Canbantog, Argao town.

Nicanor Alviola Jr., 35, had reportedly stayed atop the coconut tree since Friday but had refused to come down as of press time yesterday despite concerted efforts from the barangay officials and the police.

Police Officer 2 Glen Bisande, desk officer of Argao Police Station, said the barangay officials of Canbantog called for police assistance at around 6 a.m. yesterday when Alviola still turned down invitations for him to go down.

Senior Inspector Alejandro Batobalonos said Alviola’s parents told the police that their son was earlier invited by a friend to come to Barangay Poblacion for a visit.

The parents were suspecting that Alviola may have been forced to sniff shabu because when he came back home, he started to act strangely.

Batobalonos quoted the parents, saying that their son told them someone was pursuing him.

“Martes sa buntag, gi-invite siya sa iyang amigo sa Poblacion. Gipugos og suyop maong pag-uli sa ilaha, niingon nga naa’y mogukod niya,” Batobalonos said.

That following day, Alviola was already missing, only to be found by his father perching on the coconut morning of Friday.

The father had reportedly begged Alviola to come down but the latter would not listen to him and instead just told him that he wanted to have a space for himself.

The family and neighbors had tried to convince him to come down from the coconut over the weekend. When all efforts turned futile, the parents finally asked for police assistance on Monday morning.

Batobalonos said personnel from the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council set up a harness and net yesterday afternoon for Alviola’s safety should he decide to jump off.

Before that, a rescue worker attempted to climb up the tree to supposedly negotiate with Alviola. However, Batobalonos, who was among those present during the rescue effort, said Alviola instead picked a coconut fruit and aimed it at the rescuer.

“Naa’y usa ka taga-DRRMC nikatkat unya sa tunga-tunga sa lubi nag-ipo og bunga si Alviola, gipili ang pinakadako, gi-sight og asa moagi ang rescuer,” Batobalonos said.

Sensing danger, Batobalonos instructed the rescuer to come down as they decided to look for another way.

Batobalonos believes that Alviola will eventually come down because he had not eaten solid food for days and had just relied on coconut meat.

Police and rescue workers were still in the area yesterday afternoon.

At 6 p.m. yesterday, Alviola reportedly said he will eventually scale down today.

Batobalonos said his impression on Alviola was that the person was not mentally deranged, but he must have felt something that made him climb up the tree.

“Nabag-ohan lang kay dugay nang wala ka gamit (og drugs),” he said, adding they received reports that Alviola used to do drugs several years back. —/JMD (FREEMAN)

ACIRC ALVIOLA ARGAO POLICE STATION BARANGAY CANBANTOG BARANGAY POBLACION BATOBALONOS GLEN BISANDE MUNICIPAL DISASTER RISK REDUCTION MANAGEMENT COUNCIL NICANOR ALVIOLA JR. POLICE POLICE OFFICER
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