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3 lambanog victims remain confined at QC hospital

Of the 83 victims who fell ill and were brought to the East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC) in Quezon City for treatment after consuming lambanog, only three remained in hospital - two were stable and under observation, while the third was in the intensive care unit.

According to Mariz Umali's Tuesday report on Balitanghali, 62 victims were sent home after being declared clear of methanol poisoning, while 18 opted to leave the hospital against medical advice.

The hospital had the 18 victims sign a waiver and advised them to monitor for symptoms of methanol toxicity for the next three to five days as they were still in danger of experiencing chest and abdominal pain and blurred vision.

Meanwhile, 57-years-old victim Medel Ocbina recounted how he and eight companions celebrated Christmas with three liters of lambanog.

The next day, Ocbina was dizzy and felt a burning sensation on his skin.

He was informed that Mayor Vener Muñoz had advised those who drank lambanog to be checked by doctors following the deaths of several people after consuming the liquor.

Along with his two children who had also consumed lambanog at the Christmas party, Ocbina was brought to Philippine General Hospital.

On the other hand, 65-years-old Francisco Solquia claimed that he felt fine despite consuming a liter of lambanog with four friends. But just to be sure he was in no danger, he opted to get checked by doctors.

Both Solquia and Ocbina were puzzled over the lambanog deaths given that they patronized the same brand of lambanog, purchasing it from the same store almost every day.

Both were still under observation as their blood pressure and uric acid levels were not normal.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque visited the victims at the EAMC, and promised that the retailer and the manufacturer of the alleged toxic lambanog would be held liable.

Eight residents of Rizal town in Laguna died while 129 others were hospitalized after drinking the distilled palm liquor on Sunday. 

On Tuesday, another victim from the same town died after drinking lambanog. — Joviland Rita/DVM, GMA News