Authorities tap public’s help to find body of missing ‘bridge jumper’
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Philippines — Residents in coastal areas along the Mactan Channel are encouraged to report to authorities if they find any dead person in their areas.
Nagiel Bañacia, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office in Lapu-Lapu City head, made this call after the body of the man, who jumped off the bridge at past midnight today, January 10, 2020, had yet to be found as of 4 p.m. of the same day.
The unidentified man, who was described to be in his early 20s, was found sitting on the railing of the bridge at past midnight.
Raymark Agusto, traffic enforcer of the City Traffic Management System (CTMS) of Lapu-Lapu City, told CDN Digital in an interview that a passing motorist informed him about the man on the bridge railing.
Agusto said he hurriedly went up the first Mandaue-Mactan bridge and managed to convince the man to get off the railing and approach him and walk with him to the foot of the Mandaue-side of the bridge.
But Agusto said as they were walking to the foot of the bridge, the man suddenly changed his mind, sprinted to the side of the bridge and jumped over the railing.
Agusto said he tried to grab him but it was to late.
He said he even heard the splash when the man landed on the water.
He immediately radioed the CTMS and requested assistance from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
A few minutes later, the Coast Guard arrived at the site and conducted a search and rescue operation at Mactan Channel, but after a couple hours they failed to locate the man.
Agusto said the man was about 19 to 23 years old, was wearing a blue T-shirt with a gray jacket and black shoes.
Police Major Jaime Tolentino, Pusok Police Station chief, said they had assigned a police detail at the second bridge at night time and foot patrols during the day.
Tolentino said the policemen from the Hoops Dome Police Station were in charge of securing the first bridge.
“”Pero not all the time atong ma cover Ang tibuok bridge kay duha ra man ka police sa among side sa Lapu-Lapu and the same with Mandaue side,” said Tolentino.
(But we cannot cover the bridge security all the time because only two policemen in the Lapu-Lapu side and Mandaue side are assigned to secure the bridge.)
He said that traffic enforcers from Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue would also help watch pedestrians passing the bridge at night time until dawn.
Meanwhile, Police Major Aldrin Villacampa, Opao Police Station chief, said that if someone would really be determined to jump off the bridge, he or she would really find a way.
For those facing huge personal problems or experiencing extreme sadness, they can reach out to and call Tawag Paglaum Centro Bisaya if they need someone to talk to.
Tawag Paglaum Centro Bisaya is a 24/7 call-based hotline for suicide prevention and emotional crisis intervention established in Cebu. Anyone in Central Visayas experiencing a mental disorder relapse or suicidal thoughts may reach the hotline at 0939-936-5433 or 0927-654-1629. /dbs
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