“Heroes didn’t leap tall buildings or stop bullets with an outstretched hand; they didn’t wear boots and capes. They bled, and they bruised, and their superpowers were as simple as listening, or loving. Heroes were ordinary people who knew that even if their own lives were impossibly knotted, they could untangle someone else’s. And maybe that one act could lead someone to rescue you right back,” according to Jodi Picoult in her novel Second Glance.
On September 17, 2022, while everybody is busy living their lives, doing daily errands and responsibilities, the Pagudpud Municipal Police Station received a call from a concerned citizen relative to a suicide incident which transpired at the Bolo Bridge in Barangay Tarrag, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. A certain student from the Mariano Marcos State University- College of Industrial Technology (MMSU-CIT) intentionally jumped off the bridge.
Without reservation, Patrolman Carl Jhan C. Bumanglag of the First Platoon, 1st Ilocos Norte Provincial Mobile Force Company under the supervision of Police Lieutenant Colonel Marceliano Desamito Jr., who was then manning the PROTECT BOX located at the welcome arch of Pagudpud, immediately responded. They checked the area together with the other personnel of the Pagudpud Municipal Police Station, which at that time was led by Police Major Jomar M. Andres, Acting Chief of Police.
He bravely went into the waters and, without hesitation rescued the drowning lady, later on known to be Mia Garaña, 18 years old, a student who is residing at Barangay Lanao, Bangui, Ilocos Norte.
Everything was very sudden. Residents who have heard and witnessed the incident were deeply worried, shouting for help; but nobody knows how to respond to save the drowning lady. Thanks to the heroism of Patrolman Bumanglag. His diligence and religious devotion to answer the call of duty, at that very moment, saved another life.
Patrolman Bumanglag embodies the PNP core values Makatao, a selfless act risking one’s life at risk for the sake of others. Indeed, it was a commendable deed which will be forever remembered by the families and friends of Mia and even Mia herself, that once in her lifetime he was saved from a tragic death by a certain Patrolman named Carl Jhan Bumanglag.
When asked about the first thing he thought upon knowing the incident, Bumanglaga said, he didn’t think of anything else but to only save the lady from drowning.
“Sa bawat mamamayang inaasam maging isang pulis, tandaan ang magiging tungkulin, ito ang maging isang tagapagligtas at tagapagtanggol ng ating bansa. Dapat bukas ang ating kamay upang maiabot ang anumang tulong kaninuman,” Patrolman Bumanglag added.
Investigation revealed that the very reason why Ms. Garaña attempted to commit suicide was because of depression. Upon confirming the safety of the victim, Pagudpud PNP then called Mrs. Rochelle Garaña, the victim’s mother, for her to go home and be with her family.
The heroic act of Patrolman Bumanglag caught the attention of netizens, receiving thousands of views and hundreds of shares in facebook. Likewise, he was also commended by his comrades and superiors in the Ilocos Norte Police Provincial Office and the Police Regional Office 1.
PNP Chief General Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr., since his assumption on August, has been urging the entire Philippine National Police to imbibe its existing peace and security framework, which is the Malasakit (Care)+ Kaayusan (Order)+ Kapayapaan (Peace)= Kaunlaran (Progress) or the so-called M+K+K=K (COP=P), where every police officer is expected to perform his/her duties and responsibilities with the utmost consideration for the welfare of the people. Maintaining police presence and visibility in every area of convergence, conducting simultaneous patrol day and night to easily respond whenever needed, and maintaining peace and order by innovating proactive approaches, and forging strong alliances among the Philippine National Police, Church and the Community, in the long run, will bring the country into progress.