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Mother grieves over death of baby girl; 2 kids still missing

By ALI VICOY, With report from Danny Estacio

“Siya nga! Siya nga ang anak ko!”

Jessamin Monge wailed in anguish after seeing the body of her three-year-old daughter Franzine Jhane Monge yesterday in the aftermath of the flashflood that washed out their neighborhood in Barangay Parian in Calamba, Laguna.

Jessamin, 26, was in Manila tending to her aunt’s store when she heard about the news from her husband Jofranz who was with their four young children, two of whom remain missing.

Jofranz, 34, who survived the surge with eldest daughter, seven-year-old Jojie Mae, told his wife that they were roused from sleep by the flood that came like a thief in the night early Tuesday.

“Nagulat sila dahil ang bilis ng pangyayari. Sabi ng mister ko, dinala daw niya ang aming anak sa kapitbahay na may second floor dahil hanggang dibdib na raw ’yung baha,” Monge recounted over the phone.

However, the house, whose second floor was made of wood, was no match to the surging flood water and gave way, forcing Jofranz to get out of the house through the window with the children in tow.

“Sama sama sila habang nakakapit sa puno ng saging hanggang naihampas sila ng agos sa poste ng tulay, doon sila naghiwa-hiwalay,” she said.
Jofranz was able to hold on to Jojie Mae, but watched helplessly as Franzine Jhane, Eurika Jamsen, 5, and Eufracio III, 1, were carried away by the strong current.

Eurika’s body was recovered near Wonder Island in Laguna de Bay while the search continues for the other missing Monge children.

Jessamin said they did not expect the flash flood.

“Kasi po ambon lang naman sa amin. Maski naman po noong Ondoy hindi naman po kami binaha ng ganung katindi,” she said.

Barangay Parian is situated near the San Cristobal River whose main source of water comes from Mount Sungay, the highest mountain of Cavite.

At the height of heavy rains brought by tropical depression “Maring”, the river swelled, triggering the flashfloods.
Aside from the two Monge children, three others remain missing, according to provincial rescuers.