TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, (PIA) – Eight Yolanda heroes will be given recognition by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Regional Office 8 on November 5 at Ritz Tower de Leyte, this city.

According to DILG information officer Myles Joseph Colasito, the award recognizes people who risked their lives in the service of the community during the brunt of Supertyphoon Yolanda and to glorify exemplars of the virtues of courage, selflessness, gallantry, bravery worthy of emulation.

Said Yolanda heroes were nominated by those who have witnessed their heroic deeds when Yolanda struck the region in November last year.

The shortlist was released by DILG following the validation of the screening committee.

Colasito said there were 18 nominees for such recognition, 12 for the Acts of Valor Category and 6 for Acts of a Good Samaritan Category.

The 8 finalists were identified as Benjoe G. Mercenes, 28 years old, single and a resident of Brgy.83-C, Taguictik, San Jose Tacloban City; Christopher M. Caspe, a resident of Brgy. 56 Magallanes, Tacloban, City; Isagani Sabalza of Brgy. Magay, Tanauan Leyte; Dionesio M. Bagon of Sitio Caloogan, San Jose Palo, Leyte; Armando E. Corillo of V&G Subdivision, Tacloban, City; Chief Inspector Adel D. Bautista of Brgy. Guindapunan, Palo, Leyte; Nilda A. Quiero, a Red Cross worker and resident of Salazar St. Tacloban, City; and Ranil Repasa of Brgy. Canramos, Tanauan, Leyte.

Mercenes, used his body to shield women and children from strong winds and debris to help them cross the makeshift bridge he put up between roofs and eventually pulled them one by one over the remaining concrete wall to the safety of the home of the Barredo’s in San Jose District while Caspe swam to help a certain Jacqueline M. Salem being swept away by the storm surge.

On the other hand, Sabalza reportedly dived into violent and debris strewn floodwaters to rescue 14 persons in Brgy. Magay, Tanauan Leyte at the height of the typhoon disregarding his own safety.

Despite being emotionally drained at that time as he lost his girlfriend who was with him at the evacuation center, he managed to guide the family of Regine Cinco who was trapped by the floodwaters under the bleachers of the cockpit arena where they evacuated.

A security guard named Dionesio Bagon who was on duty at Sundance showed his bravery when he rescued 10 members of the Baquilod Family including an 11-month old baby inside the compound of the lodging house of Engr. Teresita Acidre at Real St. Fatima Village, Tacloban, City.

The Acts of Valor Award is a recognition given to individual who saved human life at extreme risk to self while the Acts of a Good Samaritan Award is given to individual for his/her notable acts of service that need not involve attempts of rescue or risk to self but has shown/performed extreme acts of selflessness and sacrifice, performed an act of service of rare or exceptional character that reflects an uncommon degree of concern for the well-being of others. (cba/PIA-8)