Lambanog death toll climbs to 15

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 24 2019 12:35 PM | Updated as of Dec 24 2019 12:55 PM

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MANILA - The number of people who died after drinking lambanog or palm wine have risen to 15 on Christmas eve, authorities said.

Two more residents of Rizal town in Laguna died Tuesday morning at the Philippine General Hospital and Rizal Medical Center, according to Rizal Mayor Vener Muñoz.

A total of 12 Rizal town residents have died, while 3 were also killed in Candelaria town, Quezon due to alcohol poisoning from lambanog.

Some 300 people complained of stomach pains and were hospitalized after drinking the wine over the weekend.

Seven fatalities from Rizal town came from the same holiday celebration last Friday, according to the mayor, who declared a state of emergency Monday to provide financial aid to the victims.

Meanwhile, 28 more residents brought themselves to hospitals on Monday night after urging from locals, Muñoz said.

"Lahat po ng tao samin takot na po talaga uminom. Kahit siguro magtinda sila nang patago, siguro wala pong (bibili)," he told radio DZMM.

The elderly woman who sold bottles of the liquor got her goods from Candelaria town, he added.

Fred Rey, owner of the 4-decade old wine brand "Rey Lambanog," appeared before police on Monday and claimed innocence over the deaths.