Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija – The joint elements of 48th Infantry Battalion and Floridablanca Municipal Police Station (MPS) rescued a total of 70 mountaineers, hikers, and cyclists who were stranded in two (2) consecutive days of Search and Rescue Operations (SAR) during the bad weather condition caused by a Low-Pressure Area affecting the country.
According to 48IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Felix Emeterio M. Valdez, 23 stranded individuals were rescued at the outskirts of Barangay Mawacat, Floridablanca on the midnight of October 11 and were properly turned-over to the local leaders of their respective localities. Additionally, 16 others are from Barangay Apalit, Floridablanca; five (5) from Lubao; and two (2) cyclists from Calumpit, Bulacan who reached the crasher site (a waiting area for hikers) by foot after leaving their vehicles and mountain bikes in the vicinity of Malalatawan Falls and went stranded after the bad weather condition occurred.
Another 47 individuals also trapped due to bad weather condition were rescued on October 12 by the joint elements of the Army and PNP at Sitio Telapayong (boundaries of Brgy Mawacat, Floridablanca, Pampanga, and Subic Zambales); wherein 18 individuals are 4×4 wheelers from Guagua and San Fernando; ten (10) motor riders from Barangay Solib; 11 motor riders from Mexico; and eight (8) motor riders from Barangay Mabical, all of Pampanga.
The Army immediately conducted a debriefing and accounting of the rescued individuals for proper documentation upon reaching Barangay Mawacat proper. Likewise, food, beverages, and first aid were given by the SAR teams.
Major General Alfredo V. Rosario Jr. PA, Commander of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division commended the 48IB for their effort in rescuing the stranded individuals. He further advise mountaineers, hikers and cyclists to always be mindful of their safety when venturing into outdoor activities.
Meanwhile, Brigadier General Andrew D. Costelo, 703rd Brigade Commander said, “The safety and security of the people have always been our priority in times of calamities as it is one of our given tasks”