Bulacan Capitol in half-mast. Photo by Anton Luis Catindig

CITY OF MALOLOS–The Philippine flag in front of the Capitol is at half-mast as the province mourns the death of five of its rescuers while rescuing families during a flash flood in San Miguel town early dawn on Monday.

Gov. Daniel Fernando ordered the flags in half-mast as the province honor and mourn the loss of five among its most capable and brave Bulacan Rescue Team members–George Agustin, 45; Troy Justin Agustin, 30; Marby Bartolome, 37; Narciso Calayag Jr,33 and Jerson Resurreccion, 33,  from the Bulacan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO). 

Fellow Capitol employees, families, friends, supporters and even media members change their social media profile picture and use the seal of the Bulacan Provincial Government with color black band with a message “Salamat at Paalam Bayaning Tagapagligtas”. 

The group belonged to Team B dispatched to San Miguel town close to midnight on Sunday for a flash flood rescue operation to members of at least four households.

Felicisima Mungcal, PDRRMO head who also lead the multi-awarded Bulacan Rescue Team for about 20 years and has been like a mother and a sister to her members remain in shock and still could not give words to express her grief and emptiness. 

“Paumanhin po for not taking any interview or answering calls/messages. Thank you for your condolences and sympathies. Please pray for the families of Jerson, Troy, George, Marby and Ona and Bulacan Rescue family as well,” she said on her social media account.

She also she changed her profile picture with “Bulacan Rescue 911” seal and wrote, “Mahal namin kayo Jerson, Troy, Marby, George, Ona”. 

Fernando said there are no words to express the pain they have in their hearts for losing the victims.

The provincial government recognizes their heroism and service and will give them due honor through their respective families. “It is one of the saddest days for us, we lost our well-trained rescuers. The strong current of waters did not spare them,” he said. 

The five rescuers died while on board a rubber boat in heavily flooded up to 10 ft. waters in Sitio Gilas in Barangay Camias about 3:55 a.m. to rescue trapped residents in four houses when suddenly they were swept with a strong current and was also believed electrocuted after a cemented fence collapsed and dragged down to the waters the connected electric lines.