Press Release
March 16, 2023

Tolentino commends PH contingent's heroic deeds during aftermath of Türkiye-Syria earthquake

MANILA - Senator Francis 'TOL' N. Tolentino commended the courageous efforts of the 82-man Philippine contingent recently deployed in the devastated quake-hit regions of Türkiye and Syria.

"This humble representation is standing up again to express this institution's heartfelt gratitude, and salute to the 82-man team... who brought assistance to those heavily affected by the strong earthquake," said Tolentino in his Wednesday's co-sponsorship speech in connection with Senate Resolution No. 535--a resolution commending the Philippine government contingent for their valor and acts of service in the rescue and recovery operations following the Magnitude 7.8 earthquake that devastated vast portions of southern and central Türkiye and northern and western Syria.

The Philippine contingent is composed of rescue and medical personnel from the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Army, Philippine Air Force, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Police.

Tolentino who previously chaired the MMDA also expressed his pride to the nine-man rescue personnel coming from the agency he used to lead, for remaining steadfast to their sworn duty to save lives.

The nine-man MMDA team in the Philippine contingent was the same team formed and sent by the MMDA under Tolentino during the April 2015 Nepal Earthquake.

"Perhaps my pride and sentiment today in honoring the 82-strong contingent- nine (9) of whom I've worked with when I was the MMDA Chairperson can be best summed up by the words of William Shakespeare in his immortal play, Henry V: 'From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remembered- We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me, Shall be my brother'," said Tolentino.

According to Tolentino, the Philippine contingent's cause is not only for the country, but "in the service of humanity," especially of those ravaged by the force of nature.

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