PO3 Sanoy: Coping with survivor’s guilt-A A +A
Friday, September 28, 2012
THE police patrol car was falling fast off a 60-meter ravine in Barangay Mantalongon, Dalaguete, Cebu, when PO3 Allan Sanoy, in a split-second move, jumped out of the vehicle that was still carrying his two colleagues and the driver.
“Nagpiyong ra ko (My eyes were closed),” Sanoy said.
Lying in the dirt and wondering if he was dead, Sanoy tried to move and felt only pain. It was then he knew he had a second chance at life.
Sanoy screamed for help when he heard a motorcycle pass by above. They didn’t hear him. He again shouted for help when he heard a vehicle. This, too, was futile.
“Kung mabuntagan ko didto, mamatay ko og apil. Naningkamot ko basin mabuhi pa akong mga kauban (I knew I would surely die if I waited till morning. I needed to get help because I was hoping my colleagues could still be saved),” he said.
He used an M-16 to prop himself and he slowly started climbing the steep and slippery cliff. When he reached the top, he walked around 100 meters until he chanced upon a house.
Its occupants immediately rushed him to the Julio Cardinal Rosales Memorial Hospital in Barangay Poblacion.
Sanoy suffered several bruises in the head and in the body.
Prior to the accident, he said, they were talking to keep themselves alert when their vehicle suddenly went off the cliff.
He was in the back beside PO3 Cristopher Requina. SPO1 Jose Gino Ursonal, his team leader, was in the front seat with the driver, Federico Caruana.
“Kalit gyud kaayo ang tanan (Everything happened in an instant),” Sanoy said.
Before they left Barangay Dugyan, he said he even asked Caruana about the vehicle’s fuel supply and the condition of the brakes.
Although he is grateful for surviving, he said he feels sad for the loss of his colleagues.
“Sakitan ko kay pamilyado pud ni sila (They left behind their families),” he said.
Irenea, Requina’s wife, told Sun.Star Cebu she was expecting her husband to arrive home at 8 a.m. yesterday.
Being the wife of a policeman, she said, she was prepared for something bad to happen to her husband considering the nature of his job. “Dili aning madisgrasya (But not die from a vehicular accident),” said the 46-year-old Irenea.
They have nine children.
Maria Theresa, the driver’s 33-year-old wife, said she reminded Caruana to be careful on the road.
“Bisan unsa pa atong tambag, kung kuwaon sila Ginoo, ilaha na gyung panahon (There’s nothing you can do when it’s your time to go),” she said.
Caruana was a municipal employee, who was assigned to the police as a driver for a year.
Insp. Dexter Basirgo, the town’s police chief, said Ursonal and Requina were good and hard-working men.
“They were responsible for arresting several illegal personalities in this town. They built the good name of this station,” he said.
Their wake will be held at the police station.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 28, 2012.