Coast guard frontliner died, 6 others injured in Batangas accident

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Apprentice Seaman (ASN) Cenen Epetito, a Philippine Coast Guard frontliner died in an while on their way to help stranded OFWs. (Image from Philippine Coast Guard)

A Philippine Coast Guard frontliner died while six others were injured in an in Batangas. The team was on their way to Metro Manila to assist stranded overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

“At around 02:43 p.m. yesterday, 26 May 2020, a multipurpose van of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) District – Southern Tagalog encountered an caused by a tire explosion along STAR Tollway in Ibaan, Batangas,” Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said in a Facebook post. 

The van was on its way from the PCG District – Southern Tagalog in Sta. Clara, Batangas to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to extend assistance to the nationwide “Bayanihan Repatriation” program for OFWs, Filipino seafarers, and returning Filipinos.

“Of its seven PCG frontline personnel aboard, one was declared dead on arrival at the Batangas Healthcare Specialists Medical Center at around 03:29 p.m. He was identified as Apprentice Seaman (ASN) Cenen Epetito,” PCG added.

ASN Adrian Añonuevo meanwhile suffered a minor hematoma and is still admitted to the intensive care unit.

PCG added, “the rest of the troop to include: Seaman Second Class (SN2) Pacifico Casipi, SN2 Erdie Rojales, ASN Rouin Alvarez, ASN John Kristopher Mojica, and Candidate Coast Guard Man (CCGM) McLester Saguid were conscious and coherent when they arrived at the hospital.”

All of them underwent an X-ray, CT scan, and suture and remain under hospital confinement until they are declared in good physical condition.

“The Command will extend necessary assistance to the bereaved family of ASN Epetito who selflessly fought the battle for public health and amid COVID-19 pandemic,” it said.

“As to the survivors, the Command assures that they will receive all needed medical treatment until they regain their strength to perform their call of duty again – which is to serve the nation and uphold the welfare of the Filipino people,” the PCG added. 

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered Monday night to bring the 24,000 OFWs to their provinces within the week.

“It is the constitutional right of people to travel and go home. Do not impede it, do not obstruct the movement of people because you run the risk of getting sued criminally,” he added.

“It is very cruel to deny them to go home,” Duterte had said.