8 foreign divers in Robredo plane crash among 300 cited for heroism in disasters
MANILA, Philippines – Eight foreign divers who were part of the search and retrieval operations in the plane crash which killed Interior and Local Government Jesse Robredo and his companions were awarded in a ceremony Wednesday at Camp Aguinaldo.
The divers were part of over 300 awardees recognized at the Bakas Parangal Awards.
They are Matt Reed, Shelagh Cooley and Anna Cu Unjieng of Malapascua divers, Korean divers Poby Han, Myung Heol, Jung Hyeon Lee, technical diver George Ang Dy Pay, and Danny Brumbach of Department of Science and Technology.
The rest of the awardees are Filipinos.
The awardees were individuals and units or groups and divided into three categories: BaKas Parangal ng Kadakilaan, BaKas Parangal ng Kabayahnihan and BaKas Parangal ng Kagitingan.
Other than the search and retrieval for Robredo, the rest of the awardees participated in disaster efforts during “Habagat” in August.
Two of the awardees which helped in rescue during “Habagat” were also due for promotion to the next higher rank.
“Sariwa pa po sa ating alaala ang pagpanaw ni Secretary Jesse Robredo. At sa pagtitipong ito, naaalala ko ang linyang minsan niyang inihayag sa kanyang talumpati. Ang sabi ni Jesse: “Later on in life, you will realize that it is neither your successes nor your conquests that will give you satisfaction. It is your contribution that really matters – paying back what you owe the community that nurtured you,” President Benigno Aquino said in his speech.
“Nagpamalas kayo ng di matatawarang dedikasyon at katapangan sa pagtulong sa mga kababayan nating nalugmok sa mga nagdaang kalamidad at trahedya. Mulat kayo sa halaga ng pagsisilbi sa kapwa at sa bayan, lalo na sa mga panahon ng pagsubok,” he added.
Towards the end of his speech, Aquino highlighted the Filipino’s brand of heroism which shines during calamities.
“Sa mga darating pang panahon, patuloy nating patunayan sa ating mga sarili at sa buong mundo: May mga bayaning Pilipino sa mga panahong ito. Likas ang pagiging bayani sa lahing kayumanggi; nananalaytay ito sa ating dugo,” he said.
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