CITY OF MALOLOS– The five fallen heroes received outpouring recognitions and financial support as the Provincial Government of Bulacan hold a special tribute for their heroism dubbed as “Salamat at Paalam… Luksang Parangal para sa mga Bayaning Tagapaglistas! at the Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium on Friday.
On behalf of George E. Agustin from Iba O’ Este, Calumpit; Troy Justin P. Agustin from Sta. Rita, Guiguinto; Marby A. Bartlome from Bulihan, City of Malolos; Jerson L. Resurreccion from Catmon, Santa Maria; and Narciso Calayag, Jr. from City of Malolos, their respective families received the highest recognition plaques from the PGB as well as cash gifts and scholarship grants from various national and regional agencies, government officials, and private sectors.
Among the cash gifts that the bereaved families received were P300,000 from Bulacan Rescue in partnership with Insular Life; P200,000 from the PGB; P200,000 from the Chairman of Century Peak Holding Corp. Wilfredo Keng, which was handed over by his daughter Katrina Keng along with a scholarship grant to one of the orphaned children from each family; P100,000 from Al Tengco, chairman of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.; P10,000 from Angat Buhay Foundation and Bulacan Angat Buhay Volunteers of former Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo; and scholarship grants from Bulacan State University.
Also, Bulacan Governor Daniel R. Fernando shouldered all the expenses for the funeral services and gave P100,000 for each family from his own pocket.
He said that while no amount of financial aid will compensate for the loss of the five rescuers, the outpouring support, honor, appreciation, and gratitude displayed not only from Bulakenyos but from all the Filipinos is a testament that their unfortunate demise is not wasted.
“Nabalot ng pagdadalamhati ang mga araw sa ating lalawigan subalit bumubuhos ang pakikiramay, mga pinansyal na tulong mula sa iba’t ibang panig ng lugar at bansa para sa pamilya ng ating limang Bulakenyong bayaning tagapagligtas. Lubha po tayong nalulungkot sa nangyari. Hindi po natin ito inasahan at hindi kailanman hinangad na mangyari lalo na sa ating mga bayaning rescuers na mas pinili ang tumulong at iligtas ang buhay ng iba kahit ang kapalit nito ay kanilang sariling buhay. Marapat lamang na lahat ng insentibo at tulong ay ating maipagkaloob sa kanilang pamilya,” Fernando said during the necrological service.
Jessa Agustin, wife of Troy Justin, also expressed her appreciation for the special tribute and financial support that were given to them.
“Ramdam na ramdam po ng pamilya namin ang pakikiramay at tulong ng buong Pilipinas. Sa lahat ng opisyal ng gobyerno lalong lalo na po kay Gov. Daniel R. Fernando at Mayor Jocell Vistan, sa mga pribado at pampublikong mga grupo at ahensya, sa media, hanggang sa mga simpleng sibilyan na katulad ko, taos pusong pasasalamat po sa inyong lahat mula sa aming pamilya sa nag-uumapaw na tulong maliit man o malaki,” she tearfully said.
Prior the necrological service, fire trucks from different provinces and cities in the country honored the fallen heroes with a water salute as their remains were passing through the PDRRMO and Capitol Buildings.