An overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia received formal recognition for his heroism after a video of him saving a Saudi national trapped in high flood went viral earlier this week.
David Balendo was praised on social media for not hesitating to brave the flood, in contrast to the rescuers from Civil Defense who wanted to wait until the water subsides.
In the video that has gone viral, rescuers can be seen standing on the side of the road, seemingly hesitant to approach the submerged vehicle. An elderly Saudi national is seen standing by the car window, hoping to be rescued.
Balendo was one of the onlookers. And when he noticed the hesitant rescuers, he volunteered to swim in the murky waters and helped the man out of the car. He then carried trapped man to safety.
"I could not stand seeing a man facing imminent danger and do nothing about it. I knew I had to jump and brave the floods in order to save 'Baba' [the affectionate word to refer to an elderly man]," said Balendo accoring to a report by the Gulf News.
Netizens questioned why the rescuers failed to save the man themselves. In response, the Interior Minister has ordered an investigation.