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GMA lauds 'faceless' heroes for rescue of 12 survivors from collapsed building in Real, Quezon

December 10, 2004

MANILA (PNA) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today said rescue groups have found alive some survivors from the two-storey Repador Building that collapsed some 10 days ago in Real, Quezon at the height of typhoon "Winnie." She praised the faceless heroes who have been helping the government in its rescue and rehabilitation efforts in the calamity-stricken areas.

The President made the announcement this afternoon at the National Convention of Government Employees attended by some 200 officers and members of the Philippine Government Employees Association (PGEA) at the Heroes, Hall in Malacañang.

"Today, a team of soldiers, DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) employees, rescue operators, and volunteers from the Chamber of Mines jumped off onto the beach from a helicopter because there was no place to land, walked two kilometers to the collapsed building, and found 12 people alive after more than 10 days. We must believe in miracles," she said.

After addressing the convention, the President flew to Lucena City to personally comfort the survivors who were brought to the Quezon Memorial Hospital.

Some 100 people were reported missing and feared dead after the building that was used as an evacuation center in Real town collapsed due to landslides at the height of typhoon "Winnie" in the evening of November 29.

The President also appreciated the immediate response of Congress to combat illegal logging and the outpouring of international assistance for the calamity victims.

She commended the anonymous public servants, calling them "unsung heroes" for the good work they have been doing in the disaster operations, such as the soldiers who walked kilometers on foot just to bring relief goods to the hungry and stranded victims in the recent calamity.

"The continued outpouring of international assistance is something on which the Filipino people is grateful. We shall never forget the wanton loss of lives as a result of the recent calamity and we will be constantly reminded to rekindle the solidarity of our people and not to allow this misfortune to happen again," the President said.


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