Wednesday Jul, 28 2021 09:03:30 AM

Tausug villagers who rescued plane crash victims lauded

Mindanao Armed Conflict • 15:30 PM Wed Jul 7, 2021
John M. Unson
 Tausug men are shown in this photo helping an injured soldier walk away from the burning C-130 plane. (From Western Mindanao Command)

COTABATO CITY ---- The Bangsamoro government will reward the Tausug villagers and militiamen who rescued soldiers from the C-130 Hercules plane that crashed in Patikul, Sulu last Sunday.

Bangsamoro Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo said Wednesday their provincial office in Sulu shall identify the villagers and members of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit who carried one after another the crash victims away from the burning plane.

Videos shared on Facebook by netizens showing the villagers rescuing passengers of the ill-fated C-130 plane went viral, earning praises from peace activists and officials of different agencies of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

“That was heroic, so laudable. They ignored the danger of getting close to a burning plane, extricating badly injured passengers away from the scene. Tausugs, indeed, full of courage in their hearts,” Sinarimbo, also spokesman of the BARMM government, told reporters Wednesday.

Sinarimbo said what fascinated the BARMM leadership most was how the villagers, without training on emergency response, helped the C-130 passengers without hesitation.

“We can hear from the video crackles like gunfire, possibly the ammunition carried by some of the military personnel who were in the plane exploding due to extreme heat. The responding people from the village were unfazed, they continued herding the injured plane passengers to safe areas,” Sinarimbo said.

One villager was recorded on video telling a soldier to wait for his return, while helping an injured plane passenger walk away from the scene.

Another villager was heard consoling a soldier “may ambulance na sir parating” in Tausug accent.

“We shall have all of those heroes identified for them to be given special citations for act of courage and volunteerism,” Sinarimbo said.

Sinarimbo is also overseeing BARMM’s Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence, or READI, which has teams of well-trained emergency and disaster responders.

Some employees of BARMM-READI, experts in off-shore and inland collapsed structure rescue maneuvers, wrote on Facebook their admiration for the brave Tausug villagers.

Sources from the provincial office in Sulu of the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government said among the men who rescued the C-130 plane passengers were CAFGU members assigned to a detachment in Barangay Bangkal.


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