5 men honored for saving 2 children swept away by flood

John Unson - Philstar.com
5 men honored for saving 2 children swept away by flood
North Cotabato Gov. Nancy Catamco huddles with the two girls nearly drowned in a flashflood in Makilala, North Cotabato.
Philstar.com / John Unson

NORTH COTABATO, Philippines — Five villagers got enlisted into the provincial rescue team for saving two girls nearly drowned in rampaging flood waters Thursday in the upland Makilala town.

The heroic act of Cesar Pampangan, Nobenloi Laresa, Richard Cuenca, Julius Onto and Ramcis Damali, went viral on social media.

North Cotabato Gov. Nancy Catamco, chairperson of the provincial disaster risk reduction and management council, said Saturday she has officially employed the five men as members of the provincial government’s emergency response and rescue team.

Catamco, as North Cotabato governor, has ministerial control over the PDRRMC.

The five men saved Aziah Yhanes Deo, 7, and the three-year-old Mayzel Cortez from floodwaters that hit them while crossing a roadside ditch in Sitio Pangayasan in the upland Barangay Kisante in Makilala, North Cotabato.

Pampangan, Laresa, Cuenca, Onto and Damali immediately jumped into the ditch from the side of the highway and rescued Deo and Cortez one after another before onlookers.

“I was fascinated, so impressed with their show of exemplary courage and dedication to be of help to neighbors in distress. What a brave group of men,” Catamco said Saturday.

Cortez and Deo were immediately rushed to a government hospital for treatment of slight injuries sustained in the near fatal mishap.

Municipal officials in Makilala said Saturday their local government unit will give Pampangan, Laresa, Cuenca, Onto and Damali special citations for their heroic act.

Catamco said she will also issue a written commendation for her five constituents.




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