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Marcos honors Bulacan rescuers: Their courage will live on


Tributes and sympathies flowed for the five rescuers of Bulacan who died during a rescue operation at the height of Typhoon Karding's onslaught.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in a Twitter post said the nation lost five good men to the calamity.

"I am deeply saddened to hear that we lost five good men to Typhoon Karding yesterday. Our prayers go to the families of George Agustin, Troy Justin Agustin, Marby Bartolome, Narciso Calayag Jr., and Jerson Ressurreccion," he said.

"Their courage and bravery will live on in our memory," the president added.

 

 

Senate resolutions

At the Senate, several resolutions were adopted on Tuesday commending and honoring the "exemplary heroism" of the five members of Bulacan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.

Proposed Senate Resolution 233, introduced by Senator Ramon Revilla Jr., also expresses the condolences and deepest sympathies of the chamber to the bereaved families.

"We continue to recognize and acknowledge the extraordinary bravery and commitment of those in the frontlines of rescue missions during calamities as they continue to fulfill their duties in the face of death," PSR 233 read.

Another resolution, PSR 240, filed by Senate Majority Floor Leader Joel Villanueva, also lauded the five Bulacan rescuers who "acted with incredible bravery and self-sacrifice and went above and beyond the call of duty to save the lives of others at the cost of their own."

They were veteran rescuers who have also helped other local governments throughout the country in previous calamities and disasters, he said.

"Bilang Bulakenyo, nagpupugay po tayo sa kabayanihan ng ating limang mga tagapagligtas. Kabilang na po ang kanilang mga pangalan sa kasaysayan ng kabayanihan ng dugong Bulakenyo," Villanueva said in his sponsorship speech.

The majority leader then called for sufficient training for the rescuers, upgrading of rescue equipment and the use of technology for disaster relief and recovery management like weather station system, drone satellite phone and other means of communication and surveillance equipment.

Apart from PSR 233 and 240, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senator Robin Padilla filed similar resolutions.

On Monday, San Miguel Mayor Roderick Tiongson reported that the five rescuers were killed in a flash flood in Barangay Camias on Sunday evening.

According to Bulacan Governor Daniel Fernando, the rescuers used a boat after their truck broke down on their way to their mission. Due to a flash flood, a wall collapsed and hit them.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) also gave the five rescuers a snappy salute "for responding to the call of duty and rendering unequivocal testament of genuine public service even at the expense of their own lives."

Heroes

Even as they grieve the loss of loved ones, the relatives of the rescuers said they are proud of their heroic deeds.

According to a report by Ian Cruz on "24 Oras", Agustin was able to do a Facebook live after they were deployed in the rescue operations in the middle of the flood.  It was to be his last.

Jessa, Agustin's wife, spoke of his dedication to his work.

"Kahit saan ipatapon yan, napunta na sila ng Porac, Davao, COVID facility, lahat 'yan walang katanggi-tanggi kasi mahal nya yung trabaho n'ya," Jessa said.  "Kaya alam ko na masaya s'ya sa ganyang nangyari, kasi namatay syang nagsisilbi sa bayan."

According to Weng Tiongson, Bulacan Provincial Social Welfare and Development officer, the remains of the five rescuers will be brought to the Capitol Compound to be buried there and given a funeral tribute.—Sherylin Untalan/LDF, GMA News

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