A 22-year-old brokenhearted man scaled Wednesday morning a 40-foot billboard and kept at bay for nearly three hours policemen and firefighters who wanted to rescue him.
It was noon when Lucien Junn Gocotano, a native of Bacolod City who was temporarily staying with relatives in Project 8, finally agreed to come down from the billboard at the corner of Edsa and Congressional Avenue in Bago Bantay, Quezon City.
Masambong police station commander Supt. Pedro Sanchez said that Gocotano would first undergo tests to determine his state of mind and should he be found mentally fit, he would face charges of alarm and scandal in the City Prosecutor’s Office.
According to the police official, the 22-year-old climbed on top of the billboard because he was depressed over his girlfriend’s refusal to return with him to Bacolod and get married.
Gocotano was first spotted by Supt. Romeo Rillo, an official of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), who was on his way to work at 9 a.m. He immediately alerted local BFP personnel who went to the area.
When Rillo learned the man’s identity and his reason for climbing the billboard, he offered to call up Gocotano’s girlfriend, a suggestion that further agitated the young man. He threatened to jump and it took time for negotiators to calm him down.
Masambong police station personnel later found Gocotano’s bag near the foot of the billboard. It contained several documents, including a diploma from the Buenavista High School in Agusan del Norte, X-ray results and the young man’s cell phone.
Scrolling through the numbers listed on the cell phone, authorities finally managed to get in touch with one of Gocotano’s relatives, his cousin Franklin, who managed to convince the young man to put on a harness and allow his rescuers to get him down from his precarious perch on the billboard.
Once he was safely down on the ground, Gocotano was examined by a responding medical team and turned over to the custody of the police.
Gocotano remains detained at the Masambong police station pending the filing of a criminal charge against him.