Cebu News

Student found deadin Mactan Channel

Adelyn Landiza - The Freeman
Student found deadin Mactan Channel
Friends of Niña Fuentes Arpon, a 19-year-old university student who had been missing since Sunday, February 25, were emotional as they help maritime police identify the dead body found in the waters of Mactan Channel near the South Road Properties (SRP) yesterday morning.
Joy Torrejos

CEBU, Philippines — The body of a woman found floating in the waters of the Mactan Channel yesterday morning has been identified as that of a 19-year-old university student who had been missing since Sunday, February 25.

Early yesterday, members of the Philippine Coast Guard along the Mactan Channel found the body within the vicinity of Shell Island. It was later positively identified by the immediate family of the missing person as that of Niña Fuentes Arpon.

Arpon, who was a native of San Remigio, Cebu, stayed with her aunt and her cousins in Pagsabungan, Mandaue City. She was a first-year university student who was taking up Education in one of the universities in Cebu.

Arpon was last seen walking in the vicinity of a hospital in Mandaue City at 12:21 a.m. on February 25, going towards the Marcelo Fernan Bridge.

Her important belongings, like her bag, ID, and mobile phone, were recovered at the bridge where she was last spotted on CCTV footage.

Her cousin, Rielbert Fuentes Pielago, told The FREEMAN in a phone interview that they would sometimes reprimand their cousin for her actions and would always remind her to focus on her studies as she reportedly got into a relationship recently. He said that this was something she could have misinterpreted.

Before she went missing, she informed them she would go out to meet with her friends, but she never returned.

He said that he was clueless if her cousin was facing personal problems; he said she does not usually interact with them and did not show any signs that she was sad. He added that Arpon was mostly focused on her mobile phone.

Days after looking for his cousin, news of the dead body of a woman came out yesterday morning. Pielago said that he was in denial at first.

“Ako maka-ila man g’yud ko sa bata. Pa’g that time nga kakita kog’g gamay, ingon g’yud ko sa ako’ng huna-huna nga mao ni’ng bataa pero gi-deny lang sa nako kay mahadlok ko nga siya g’yud unya wa man ko kakita sa nawong kay nagkub pa man to,” he said.

He added that they were able to identify his cousin through another relative whom they asked to go to the area. She positively identified Arpon through the bracelet she was wearing and a mark found on her ear.

Pielago still could not conclude if his cousin committed suicide since there were no witnesses to the incident, and the family has yet to decide if they will subject the body to an autopsy. — (FREEMAN)

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