Police Constable Bernard Ical is alive and well. The 26-year-old was reported missing by his wife when the seven soldiers he was patrolling within the Machakilha area, Toledo District, were separated from him on Wednesday morning. Five days and six hours later, the constable made it to the Machakilha Outpost. Love News spoke with Ical’s wife minutes after she got the news around two o’clock this afternoon.
Claudia Ical, Wife of Bernard Ical: “I’m just happy, that is all I can say, that I’m happy they found him alive because it’s hard that you lost someone but now I’m just happy. Thanks to Mr.Chester Williams that tried his best to send all his people to look for him. Mr.Chester said that he will come back home tomorrow, I don’t know where they are right now maybe at Machakilha I don’t know because they just called me and told me that they found him.”
Our newsroom also spoke with the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of National Security, Felix Enriquez, who said they are relieved that Ical has been located.
Felix Enriquez, CEO, Ministry of National Security: “We are indeed very relieved. Feel like a huge weight has been lifted off our shoulders. You can understand how worried we were and how engaged we were in trying to find him and so we were so happy to hear that he had returned to the OP this afternoon. The Minister himself along with the COMPOL were engaged in a flight around the area and we had asked them to hover around the OP at Machakilha just in case he we would see the chopper and then move towards it. I still believe that’s exactly what happened we don’t have all the details as yet because he’s still there but yes he returned and he’s safe, he’s in good form and we are indeed very happy for that.”
Reporter: Would you be able to comment on the reports you’ve gotten in terms of the condition upon his return.
Felix Enriquez, CEO, Ministry of National Security: “He’s well. He is able to speak to them as a matter of fact he’s very relieved himself as you could understand and he has agreed to actually wait there until tomorrow when they extract him and at that time COMPOL should have more for you.”
When the details surrounding Ical’s absence began circulating, it brought into question the protocols in jungle patrol and if it is common for patrols to separate. CEO Enriquez spoke briefly on this explaining that there are some questions that need answers.
Reporter: Talk to me in terms of what the protocol is when it comes to travelling together or separating from your patrol team, is this something that is common ?
Felix Enriquez, CEO, Ministry of National Security: “No the straight answer is no Renee it’s not common but everything depends on the situation. I am not at this time aware of what the situation was at the time. What I do understand is that they left their last checkpoint together and himself and one other of the patrol were coming behind those that were there. Now you have to understand that they were trying to get there to relieve the ones that were there and so if the patrol commander decided that he wanted to go ahead to make sure that that process takes place as quickly as possible that kind of thing isn’t uncommon. What is definitely uncommon is one member of the patrol being alone. We have what is called a buddy system which ensures that you are not alone and so that happened with him and that’s what we’ll need to get to the bottom to as to why he himself was alone. Everything else that happened on the patrol to my mind is not extremely unusual but the fact that he ended up alone is indeed unusual and we will get those answers when we talk to him. We have the answers from one side of the story from the patrol commander and the remainder of the patrol but we must hear his side”