Rising football star found dead
Emmanuel B. Villaruel, Iris Hazel M. Mascardo (The Freeman) - August 19, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — A 16-year-old Cebuano member of the national football team was found floating dead in the Mactan Channel off Barangay Opao, Mandaue City yesterday morning in what investigators say as an apparent suicide case.

The FREEMAN is not naming the athlete in respect to the request of the bereaved family.

Police said the victim was reported to have been missing at least two days before he was found floating lifeless by the seashore.

The discovery of his body was first made public in social media posts calling for the relatives of a man who was wearing shorts and black shirt printed with the words “Super Mario Bros.”

The Mandaue City police later confirmed the dead person alarm and rushed to the scene to fish out the body.

According to Mandaue City Police Office chief Colonel Jonathan Abella, initial investigation showed that the victim was reported to have jumped off the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge at around 2 a.m. of the same day.

“Niingon ang imbestigador nga nilayat siya around 2 a.m. based on accounts of witnesses (The case investigator said he may have jumped off at 2 o’clock dawn),” Abella said.

A reliable source separately said the victim was last seen with friends at a town center in Cebu City dawn of Sunday. From there, he reportedly rode a motorcycle going to Lapu-Lapu City.

It was the athlete’s head coach who positively identified the body yesterday after it was fished out from the waters at around 11 a.m.

Abella said there were no gunshot wounds found on the teen’s body.

He added that they have not reached out to the parents to give them time to grieve.

‘Cebu’s pride’

A promising football player, the victim was a member of the Philippine team that took part in an international under-16 football tournament August last year in Indonesia.

He was a varsity player of a private school in Cebu who also played for Cebu Elite U15 team in the Philippine Football Federation-organized Festival of Football.

During his elementary years, he formed part of the Central Visayas team that saw action in the 2015 Palarong Pambansa in Legazpi City, Albay.

Abella said investigation is still underway to determine the true cause of the athlete’s death, as well as the motive. (FREEMAN)

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