Man behind fatal lambanog poisoning surrendered but was not arrested

As of tonight, 11 people have reportedly died while hundreds of others were hospitalized after drinking the same coconut wine brand in Rizal, Laguna, and Candelaria, Quezon since Thursday last week. According to Rizal police chief Capt. Lindley Tibuc, “based on accounts of the victims, it turns out that they drank one and the same brand of lambanog, which they bought from Rizal town.” He also says that the local government, headed by Rizal Mayor Vener Muñoz, ordered the closure of the lambanog shops in the municipality.

Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns the public on the purchase and consumption of alcohol beverages.

The owner of the distillery ‘Rey Lambanog’ is Fred Rey who has been a liquor maker for 40 years. Reports say that Rey surrendered to authorities today and promised to help shoulder the victims’ expenses, yet he was not arrested despite receiving a complaint of negligence resulting in multiple homicides against him as the distillery’s operation was legal.

(Pinoy “Lambanog” Receives International “Gold” Recognition)

However, Rey Lambanog had no permit. The only registered lambanog products as of December 23 based on the list provided by the FDA are Mang Andoy, Island Coco, Lakan Bronze, Jimmy’s (Bubble Gum Flavor), Jimmy’s (unflavored), San Juan Lambanog, Lakan Extra Premium, Craft Distilled Lakan, Lakan Silver, Dory’s Lambanong, Jimmy’s Lambanong (Strawberry), Ram-Ciel Lambanog, San Juan Premium Lambanog, and San Juan.

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