PNP: Ember of Hope in times of Agaton
Days of an ensuing cold gust of winds, heavy downpour, devastating flash floods, and flattening landslides instill terror and pain in the hearts of Samareños and Leyteños, and other nearby provinces as Typhoon Agaton pummels major parts of Visayas and northern parts of Mindanao on the 10th and 11th of April 2022.
The typhoon-ravaged countless homes, properties, and even the lives of poor citizens living in shacks and flood-drenched houses washed out by deadly flood currents in the places affected by the calamity.
The Philippine National Police readily responded accordingly in the face of calamity. Regional Director of Police Regional Office 6, Police Brigadier General Flynn E. Dongbo; PRO 7 RD, PBGen Roque E. Vega; PRO 8 RD, Bernard M. Banac; and PRO 13 RD, PBGen Romeo M. Caramat, Jr. were quick to mobilize their respective ranks thereby activating disaster response procedure to ensure the safety of every citizen in the area when the typhoon hit land.
The prompt and selfless act of service working in synergy with the localities and other volunteers could even be seen in a search, rescue, and retrieval operation led by Police Lieutenant Colonel Joemen P. Collado, Chief of Police of Baybay City Police Station when a landslide ensued in Barangay Can-Ipa, Baybay City in Leyte. Everyone helped dredge the road to help the families helplessly trapped in their houses.
Meanwhile, in an above-head-deep floodwater tug in Barangay Tabunan in Lemery, Iloilo, cops led by Police Lieutenant Francis S. Batallones, Chief of Police of Lemery Municipal Police Station, braved the frightening deep flood to evacuate several families to safety clutching only to a tightrope.
More stories of bravery and dedication may not have been witnessed by the world; however, records will show the result of these dutiful performances of service of 2,491 police officers deployed in high-risk and hard-hit areas in Regions VIII and 13 (CARAGA).
The PNP tallied 2,898 individuals rescued from floods and landslides in the Visayan region, while 80 persons were retrieved in the search, rescue, and retrieval operations in the Central and Eastern Visayas.
Furthermore, 1,100 victims benefitted from relief operations conducted by the PNP.
In a statement, PNP Chief Police General Dionardo B. Carlos lauded the partnership and efforts of police, other agencies, and volunteers in the most difficult times, “We would like to promote a sense of community. Thus, we thank our partner law enforcers, other agencies, and the LGUs for the coordination from the pre-disaster planning, the actual disaster response, to post-typhoon recovery and rehabilitation.”
Regretful as anyone would be when one learns about the casualties despite the hard work and commitment of everyone involved in this noble endeavor, it won’t diminish the inspiring value of saving lives to the best one’s capacity.
The PNP shall promise to stay true to its mandate in ensuring public safety, as well as help, protect and preserve lives in the difficult times of adversary, and it will continue extending its reach to maintain peace and order in the community.