Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sembrano Climb takes its toll of a female climber

Sembrano Climb takes its toll of a female climber
July 31, 1999 ni Di Makapili
A Special Report on the Scene of the Climb

Sembrano took a toll of a female climber in an expedition last 26-27 July from 4:30 PM to 12:30 noon the following day in this isolated mountain range occupied exclusively by this group on that stormy, windy weekend. Climber was said to be a seasoned one, a professional marketer and cook, a capable climber, master prober and host and an affiliate of an umbrella organization whose identity will remain to be anonymous to protect her interest and reputation. Climber was reportedly housed in isolation and has not reported for work for the past 2 days (Monday and Tuesday). She claimed to have spent her day at home washing and cleaning her tent with repeated attempts in inducing burping to throw up.

The Pililia local police were checking the whereabouts of 5 male climbers of varying personalities and interests who were reportedly seen with the female from the start to the end of the trek particularly in the dark moments nearing midnight Saturday under the intermittently bright new moon. An investigative team was dispatched at the scene of the crime at about 500 M ASL North East of Mount Sembrano overlooking Magbitac and Siniloan. Noted was a patch of lot with orderly bended cogon grass in about 2 X 6-meter dimension. Perpetuators were reportedly neat operators, as they “left no trace” except for some signs of road widening and trail damages. It looked like a body was dragged down from the socials area to the camping grounds.

Cleared was a male climber in a black TNF backpack. He was apparently the organizer of the expedition as he coordinated all timing arrangements, food plans, transpo and trail tracing. Sufficient proof was presented that he was alone in the tent under the mango tree during the probable time of the incident while the rest of the expedition group was having a good time at the socials.

Authorities were looking forward to see the prints of the photo coverage taken from a professional Nikon camera and a high tech advanced photo system device simply branded as IXUS II Canon.

Also tracked for possible leads were two other male climbers who decided to forego participation in the trek at the last minute. One claimed to have suffered a broken spinal column and the other claimed to have scheduled laundry chores. Police are still checking at the submitted medical report. The other climber though could not present freshly washed laundry. These two demonstrated strong interest on the whereabouts of the climb. Climber with back problem immediately asked to highlights of the climb from the Mindanao born participant and from the leader. Climber with household chores particularly asked how the female climber was.

Bribery was present. A participant from Angono Rizal who was among those under the heavy influence bribed everyone with a fried itik (roasted duckling), a specialty of his hometown apparently to silence the witnesses. Two probable incidents he wished to be erased were the dragging and road widening and the missing tent door.

Other questions that needed further probing were:
  1.  Could it have been done by the two non-drinkers as their judgment were not impaired?
  2. Who was with the female climber up to the last moments when she was picked up at 7-11 Cainta Sunday afternoon?
  3. What was the motivation for the late Friday night calls between the female climber and the two other climbers who opted not to go?
  4. Could this not just be the handiwork of the female climber who wanted to get national prominence from the weekend? Or did she want to catch somebody else’s attention?
  5. Could the female climber simply be making everything up to gain back the attention of her climbing friends who based on her own admission were all unavailable that weekend?
  6. Why was this Cainta-based climber extra nice to the female climber even preparing coffee that late in the morning?
  7. What secret ingredient did this non-drinking climber in the sinigang broth place? Could it have been the stimulus that kept the action going?
  8. Was the leader really cleared? Or he staged an early retirement when mission was already clearly accomplished?
  9. Who is this bespectacled climber who claimed no knowledge whatsoever on this climb and yet was scheduled to visit the scene of the crime on 31 July?
A hearing was set at Albertos in F. B. Harrison Pasay at about 8 PM Wednesday 28 July to expedite the resolution of the case and to schedule the next climb that is, if clearances and permits will be issued to them.
CMC Press 31 July 1999

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