2 dead, dozens hospitalized for food poisoning

The owner of the carabaw that we butchered and given to residents of Barangay Bago, Tayasan, Negros Oriental, that reportedly resulted to the death of two children, could not face criminal charges, according to the police.

Tayasan Police chief Lt. Tommy Tan said they could not file charges against the owner of the carabaw, Erlinda Rama, 62, because it was according to him, unintentional.

Local authorities initially recorded at least 50 residents of Barangay Bago experiencing symptoms of food poisoning, after eating the carabaw meat given by Rama, who was also hospitalized. A 2-year-old and a 15-year-old died after eating the meat.

Tan said Rama butchered her carabaw who was reportedly weak due to an unknown cause. “The (carabaw meat) was given in good faith. She wasn’t selling it,” the police officer said. He also dispelled rumors that carabaw was already dead when it was butchered.

The police chief said Rama gave carabaw meat to her neighbors in exchange for rice to eat.

As of April 18, 2020, 19 were sent to the hospital, while 39 were given medicine for vomiting. On Monday, April 20, Tan said an additional 12 residents were sent to the hospital. However, Tayasan Mayor Susano Ruperto Jr. had instructed filing of charges against Rama.-Ryan J. Sorote