Three people died after consuming puffer fish, locally known as butete, on Dec. 28 in Leyte’s Tabango town.
Restituto Sumalinog, 63; Lucricia Anislagon, 49; and Ramil Catam-isan, 40, were hospitalized but subsequently passed away. Four others who also ate the puffer fish were admitted to the Leyte Provincial Hospital in Palo town.
According to the regional Philippine National Police headquarters, Sumalinog purchased puffer fish from a certain Corazon Yanon and offered it to others during a drinking session.
Puffer fish possesses tetrodoxin, which is 1,200 times more toxic than cyanide. A National Geographic article said that the toxin in a single puffer fish is able to kill 30 adults with no known antidote.
In Japan, puffer fish is served raw but only after careful preparation by trained sushi chefs.