BATANGAS (UPDATED) - Two sophomore students from the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila and De La Salle University (DLSU) Taft drowned in a private beach resort in Calatagan town on Thursday afternoon, police said.
Batangas police director Sr. Supt. Omega Jireh Fidel identified the victims as 17-year-old Hosea Jizo Pinto, a Business Management student in DLSU, and Therese Maria Cordero, a Development Studies student in UP.
Cordero's 45-year-old father, Ronald, of Sun Valley Subdivision in Parañaque City, also died while trying to save his daughter.
According to Pinto's sister, Micah, her brother's high school football team from Don Bosco Makati was having a reunion in a private resort owned by their relative in Barangay Bagong Silang in Calatagan when the accident occurred.
She said the group was chatting along the breakwater when strong waves swept them away at around 1:30 p.m.
"Hanggang knee-deep lang ang tubig sa dagat, they were not even swimming then. Pero natangay sila sa malalim na part ng dagat nang may humampas na malaking alon at malakas na hangin sa breakwater," she told ABS-CBN.
Micah said more than 10 people were carried away by the big waves but some of them managed to swim back to the breakwater.
Police said the Corderos were found by fishermen and rushed to Calatagan Medicare Hospital. However, they were declared dead on arrival at the emergency room.
Meanwhile, Pinto went missing for almost 17 hours before his body was found a few meters away from the shore of the same barangay. His decomposing body was cremated and brought back to Manila on Friday.
Residents said the weather was not that bad when the accident happened.
"Hindi naman umuulan noon, medyo makulimlim lang at malakas ang alon pati na ang hangin," a police investigator quoting a resident said.