COUNTLESS members of the Philippine National Police became “unsung heroes” when powerful typhoon Ulysses devastated many parts of Luzon early this month killing at least 67 people — and meet two of them who helped save three lives as floodwaters swamped Cagayan Valley leaving 23 dead.
Patrolman Brayan Bangayan, a 24-year-old native of Tuguegarao City is a licensed Medical Technologist who worked for 9 months at the Cagayan Valley Medical Center before joining the Police Regional Office 2 in August 2019.
Around 8 a.m. last November 14, Pat. Bangayan was among the 50 plus PRO2 policemen who boarded a 6×6 truck that would transport them to their respective assignments in flood-hit Tuguegarao City.
He told the Journal Group that while they were negotiating the waist-deep floodwaters in Barangay Bagay in Tuguegarao City, an elderly woman frantically called for their help. It turned out that the woman’s pregnant daughter was already laboring in pain.
The PRO2 policemen carried the pregnant woman from their small house and took her and her mother to their truck as they planned to transport her to the nearest hospital. However, the rampaging floodwaters, as well as the presence of dead animals, fallen trees and branches and other debris slowed down the police truck.
After realizing that the woman was about to give birth already, Pat. Bangayan, the only person with a medical background on that truck, decided to attend to the distressed woman, first disinfecting his hands with the alcohol brought by the elderly woman before giving instructions to the woman laboring in pain.
“Natakot ako pero dalawang buhay ang mawawala pag hindi ako kumilos. Saka yung tropa ang nag-encourage sa akin na kaya mo yan,” he said.
With the assistance of Bangayan, the woman delivered a healthy boy while on board the moving PNP truck. It was him who cleaned the baby while his mother and grandchildren were crying with joy.
People and medical workers at the St. Paul Hospital cheered the policemen when they reached the hospital to safely deliver the two women and the baby who, of course, was named Ulysses after the legendary Greek hero by his mother.
The 2nd policeman, Pat. Jayrick Talosig, a criminology graduate who joined the PRO2 in 2017 earned the accolades of his fellows and local residents for saving the life of a drowning Sangguniang Kabataan chairman in Ilagan, Isabela around 1 p.m. of the same day.
It turned out that Talosig, a member of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team of the Ilagan Municipal Police Station in Isabela, was among the local policemen deployed by their chief, Lieutenant Colonel Virgilio Abellera, to assist local residents affected by heavy flood.
He told the Journal Group that while in the area, he saw many people trying to cross the highway already submerged in chest-deep floodwater prompting him and some of his colleagues to warn them.
Many heeded their call but some didn’t until the SK chairman suffered from cramps and was dragged by the strong current. Pat. Talosig, wearing a police life vest, did not waste any time in saving the victim’s life. A companion of the SK chairman was also saved from near death by a local barangay tanod, he said.
For their feat, PNP chief, General Debold M. Sinas pinned medals on the two policemen during the flag-raising rites at Camp Crame on Monday.
Pat. Bangayan received the PNP Medalya ng Kasanayan from Gen. Sinas. Bangayan said he is yet to see his wife Jane and their son Brighcarl who is only 25 days old as of last Monday. The policeman’s family lives in Angadanan, Isabela.
On the other hand, Pat. Talosig, married to Lovely and blessed with a 2-year-old child named Jayce got the PNP Medalya ng Kadakilaan from Gen. Sinas.
The two policemen said that before they were fielded to their respective assignments during the typhoon, PRO2 director, Brigadier Gen. Crizaldo O. Nieves gave them a briefing.
“Our RD told us that once we have been deployed, wag kami papogi-pogi. Tumulong kami not for compliance only, do your best to help others. Talagang tumanim sa isip namin yon,” Pat. Bangayan said.
Gen. Sinas lauded the two policemen for their herois,. “You are two examples of policemen who will perform their job above and beyond the call of duty. We’re very proud of you,” said the top cop who led his men in conducting search, rescue, relief and retrieval operations in Luzon areas which were devastated by Ulysses.