Facebook user Fhonz Sy took to social media to describe how P/CMS Edilberto Tan went out of his way to assist them following what she described an “unfortunate turn of events” when her cousins suffered from “food poisoning” after stopping by a local eatery along the way from El Nido to have their meals.

Sy claimed that they were grateful to have “bumped into” Tan, who helped them when they needed it the most, as her relatives were already suffering from food sickness.

“He escorted us from the airport entrance, got us checked-in with the revised seats, the security checkpoint, to the clinic to get the kids checked and up to the priority gate area. His compassion towards the passengers is exceptional [sic],” Sy narrated in her public post on February 10.

She explained that one of her cousins, Phoenix, was not allowed to board the flight because he was constantly throwing up. “Fortunately, rebooking our flight is free of cost. Three of us were left behind and the others headed back to Manila Airport. [sic]”

Tan, who drove them to the hospital in his own car, brought them food, and gave her cousin clothes, exemplified the professionalism and compassion of the best police officers.

However, for Tan, a member of the Tourist Police Unit of the Palawan Police Provincial Office (PPO), assisting Sy and her family was “routine” and “nothing out of the ordinary” as it is part of his job.

He narrated to Palawan News that he met Sy and her relatives while he was conducting regular check outside the departure area of the city international airport on February 9, around 6:30 p.m.

Tan said that he inquired about their airline and departure time. Sy informed him that they’re tourists from Texas, USA, and their flight is with Cebu Pacific and will depart around 9:40 p.m., but two of her relatives were feeling ill after eating something spoiled.

“Nasa labas sila ng lobby, group of nine sila, yong dalawa nakahiga doon sa sahig—nabanggit nila na yong mga kasama niya is nagsusuka, tapos nagkakaroon ng diarrhea raw, at nasa CR pa ang iba. Nag-offer na ako na tulungan sila, kinausap ko na yong guwardiya na kung puwede papasukin na para mabigyan ng gamot ng nurse,” he said Saturday morning.

“Noong na check na sila at nabigyan ng gamot sa clinic. In-escort ko sila sa priority seats tapos iniwan ko na. Noong magbo-boarding na sila, itinawag na na-offload yong mga bata kasi timing na sumuka,” added Tan, citing that the airline’s management was concerned about being held responsible for what can happen to the 10-year-old passenger.

Tan explained that because it was past 9 p.m. and there were no more taxis available at the airport, he offered to drive them to the hospital for admission.

He also bought them food and gave young patient Phoenix his son’s clothes because he had nothing to wear.

“Para sa akin, duty namin yon. Mandato namin na tulungan ang mga turista—kung di ko tinuloy-tuloy yong assistance sa kanila, parang hindi matatanggap ng konsensiya ko. Paano kung may nangyari sa bata? Dapat aalis na sila kahapon (February 10), pero noong dumating yong pedia, hindi binigyan ng medical certificate kasi nilalagnat pa rin ang bata—95% food poisoning ang [naranasan ng] bata,” he said.

“Nakakahiya nga po, kasi sabi ko normal lang naman akong nagtratrabaho,” Tan added.

Today, Tan will visit the family at the hospital to see how they are doing and if he can be of further assistance.

Tan, a native of Cebu, has been a police officer for 21 years and a part of the tourist police unit since 2014.

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has been with Palawan News since January 2019. She is its managing editor, overseeing and coordinating day-to-day editorial activities. Her writing interests are politics and governance, health, defense, investigative journalism, civic journalism, and the environment.