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Villar honors 4 DPWH men killed in landslide

Jose Rodel Clapano - The Philippine Star
Villar honors 4 DPWH men killed in landslide
“Our hardworking quick response teams unsung heroes for site responsive actions as first road responders during calamities are encouraged to be more watchful and intensify precautionary measures,” Public Works Secretary Mark Villar said.
STAR / Boy Santos, file

MANILA, Philippines — Public Works Secretary Mark Villar reminded yesterday the quick response teams to exercise caution as he honored four “unsung heroes” who died in a landslide in Ifugao while on their way to rescue victims of Typhoon Ulysses.

“Our hardworking quick response teams unsung heroes for site responsive actions as first road responders during calamities are encouraged to be more watchful and intensify precautionary measures,” he said.

He made the statement following the tragic landslide incident, which buried four members of the Ifugao 2nd District Engineering Office Quick Response Team who were clearing a blocked road in Ifugao province.

“It is with a heavy heart to confirm that two workers – a driver and a laborer – were retrieved dead, and two engineers who are still missing were among those buried by a landslide at Sitio Nabito, Viewpoint, Banaue, Ifugao at 5:40 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020,” Villar said.

A report of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Cordillera Administrative Region Office identified the two recovered bodies as those of driver Joel Chur-ig and laborer John Duclog.

Multiple search, rescue and retrieval teams from the police, fire bureau, military and local governments continue with their efforts to locate the missing engineers John Limoh and Julius Gulayan.

An early evening dispatch said the body of the 31-year-old Limoh was recovered yesterday.

“We have received unfortunate news that a cadaver was retrieved today and has been positively identified as that of our colleague DPWH Engr. John Limoh. (He) died a hero and is survived by his wife. Let’s pray for the soul of engineer Limoh,” Villar said.

According to the report, only one DPWH Quick Response Team member – laborer Jacob Guinyang – survived the incident. When the incident happened, he was on the other side of the road because he was ordered to check on their equipment and buy some food.

Villar said the five-man QRT team moved out of the Banaue Satellite Office Thursday afternoon after verifying reports of numerous slides along the Nueva Vizcaya-Ifugao-Mountain Province road.

When they reached the site, heavy downpour forced them to seek refuge in a house. However, they were caught off-guard when a landslide rolled onto the house and down the slope.

Villar said these people, true to their sworn commitment to the service, would be remembered for the “selfless deeds and valor exemplified in the line of duty for our countrymen.”

“My thoughts and prayers go out to our personnel who bravely served our country and paid the ultimate price. We will extend all efforts to look for the missing and support the families of the victims. Let us pray that those missing will be found,” he added.

He emphasized the importance of having sound safety practices in all phases of the planning and execution of disaster response operations “to ensure there will never be another casualty from our men on the ground who are risking their lives immediately after the weather stabilizes in performing their duties to help our kababayans.”

DPWH MARK VILLAR
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