12 cops rescued after boat sinks off Albay west coast

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CAMP GEN. SIMEON OLA, Legazpi City (PNA) – Crewmen of a passing roll-on, roll-off vessel rescued 10 members of the Philippine National Police and two civilians about six hours after the victims’ motorized boat capsized at about 11:00 a.m. Sunday in the sea off Barangay Pantao, Libon town in Albay west coast.

Insp. Malou Calubaquib, PNP Bicol regional spokesperson, identified the rescued police officers as PO2 Roderick Macararanga, PO1 Mario Protacio Alay, PO1 Liomar Aguinaldo, PO1 Jose Garo, PO1 Erwin San Juan, PO1 Randy Barquilla, PO1 Gerwin Villanueva, PO1 Herbert Cantre, PO1 Jose Redita Jr., and PO1 Gomar Batiancila Jr. – all assigned with the 1st Maneuver Company of the 5th Regional Public Safety Battalion based in Sitio Calumpang, Barangay San Rafael, San Pascual, Masbate.

The rescued civilians are Rene Rosellosa and Michael Ongotan, boat crewmen of M/B Felix owned by one Alex Ocampo, and residents of the town.

Calubaquib said the rescuers found the victims at about 5:00 p.m., Sunday, clinging to pieces of wood and bamboo parts of the boat.

She said the police officers were going to Camp Gen. Simeon Ola for their physical fitness program in the regional office and hired the boat to ferry them to Pantao Port.

The boat was hit by strong waves brought by the southeast monsoon, causing seawater to accumulate inside the sea craft and made it sink.

The victims immediately clung to the boat and whatever they could hold on to and remained in that condition for about six hours before they were rescued by the passing cargo-passenger vessel.

Calubaquid said the service firearms and personal belongings of the police officers sank in the sea.

The victims were immediately brought to a hospital in Pio Duran town for immediate treatment. (PNA)

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