Promotion awaits Coast Guard hero
(The Freeman) - November 13, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has vowed to give Petty Officer Third Class (PO3) Ralph Barajan a spot promotion for saving the lives of 51 ship passengers and seven crewmen of the MV Siargao Princess when it capsized last week in the waters off Sibonga, Cebu.

PCG Commandant Vice Admiral Joel Garcia said that Barajan will be promoted to Petty Officer Second Class (PO2) and will be eligible for “commission-ship” to become a coast guard officer as a simple recognition for his exemplary act of heroism.

Garcia said Barajan deserves the promotion as he showed an “exemplary attitude and courageous act to ensure the safety of lives despite being off-duty when the maritime incident occurred.”

“PO3 Barajan has genuinely lived up PCG’s core values of professionalism, commitment and gallantry,” Garcia said.

Citing Barajan’s initiative, Garcia challenged all coast guard personnel to emulate Barajan’s action and perform their duties and responsibility of the PCG at all times and at all cost in service to the nation.

Barajan was one of the passengers of the ill-fated MV Siargao Princess on his way to Coast Guard substation in Southern Cebu when he noticed the worsening condition of the vessel due to the strong waves.

“Immediately, he coordinated with the ship captain, then took the initiative to gather the ship passengers and crew. After securing life jacket for children, PO3 Barajan accounted everyone and initiated the group to jump off the sinking vessel,” Garcia said.

He said that Barajan’s trainings at the PCG has prepared him to save people’s lives.

The MV Siargao Princess sank in the waters off Sibonga, Cebu on Thursday last week after the water started to seep in when its hatch cover was detached “due to the pitching of the vessel caused by big swells,” according to the PCG. Philstar News Service, FPL (FREEMAN)

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