Fort Magsaysay Nueva Ecija – Nine individuals were saved from the collapsed four-storey Chuzon Supermarket in Porac, Pampanga, caused by the magnitude 6.1 earthquake yesterday, with the help of composite teams from the 48th Infantry (Guardians) Battalion and other military units.
Pampanga is one of the hard-hit province within the area of responsibility (AOR) of the 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division.
The officers of 7ID headed by Major General Lenard T Agustin AFP, Commander, 7ID is still in Porac, Pampanga to assist the local government unit in assessing the situation and to provide the necessary help they need.
As of this writing, the rescue teams from 48IB, 70th Infantry (Cadre) Battalion, K9 Units, Philippine Air Force Search and Rescue Group of 355th Air Engineering Wing and 303rd Civil Defense Center are continuously conducting rescue and retrieval operations. They are doing their best to rescue more individuals for time is of the essence for those who are still under the rubble of the collapsed establishment.
MGen Agustin said that the 525th Engineering Battalion is of great help in the rescue operations for aside from hardworking soldiers, it has life locator equipment that detects live survivors trapped under the wreckage. The army engineering unit also provided other equipment needed in excavating fallen debris.
Further, Commander, 7ID challenged the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) to lend a hand to the people who are victims of the calamity, whom they claim they serve.
“It is during times of calamity when our sincerity in helping our kababayans will be put to test. I wonder how the CTGs can stand looking at our kababayans while doing nothing,” said MGen Agustin.
“If I may add, shame on those who keep on criticizing our government forces and turning a blind eye to those who are in need,” he added.
7ID ensures the people that despite of its active involvement in the rescue operations, it will never let their guard down in conducting security operations within its AOR.