In Memory of Customs Officer Renie Tumanda
US Guam Customs Officer Dies from COVID
In Guam, authorities were saddened to announce that one of the US Customs officers had died from exposure to COVID19. Customs Officer Renie Tumanda, age 45, died on Friday, September 25, 2020. He had suffered from complications that arose from having coronavirus.
Officer Tumanda served his community through his work with the US Customs. He worked as a customs officer for over six years. His most recent assignment was with the Port Authority of Guam.
Tumanda’s wife gave details about his life and his battle with COVID. She stated that prior to his exposure to the virus, Tumanda had no underlying or pre-existing conditions. Officer Tumanda was known for a tireless work ethic, active lifestyle, selflessness, and family devotion. He was also an avid fisherman. He was a role-model and a light to the lives of all those he met.
Customs and Quarantine Agency Director Ike Peredo talked about the impact of an officer’s loss on fellow employees. “The officers are mourning right now because of the loss of our fellow officer. We just got to move on, keeping in mind that this is our job and what we do is a risk in our job because we are always out there as the first defense line. And they understand that.”
Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency
Customs Officer Renie Tumanda was most recently assigned to the Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency. The Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency’s motto is that their organization is the “First Line of Defense” for Guam’s island. CQA and its officers work to enforce laws and regulations, both local and federal. They are responsible for protecting the border, securing entry ports, and facilitating trade, commerce, and travel. The work done by the CQA is to improve business and protect the residents of the island of Guam.
COVID Takes Lives
COVID19 has been taking lives worldwide, leaving families suffering in grief for loved ones that have unexpectedly died from exposure to the virus. Customs Officer Renie Tumanda leaves behind his wife, three children, parents, and two brothers. He also has many friends, extended family, neighbors, and coworkers who will support his family in their grief.
Divina Leones-Tumanda, Officer Tumanda’s widow, expressed how she lost her husband to the virus. She briefly told how devastating it was for her to experience losing a loved one due to the coronavirus. “I could hear him, like gasping for air, and so I woke him up. We drove quickly to the Yigo Fire Station. Sure enough, his oxygen levels weren’t good, so they transported him, and that was the last time I was with him physically; I was able to do a video call with him while at GRMC, but that following morning he was already intubated and sedated, and that was the last time that I actually saw him awake, and…here we are.”
Ray Tumanda, a brother of the deceased, grieved publicly and begged that the public wake up to the ravages of this virus to protect themselves and their families. “Take this pandemic seriously, ’cause it’s not a joke. It’s not a joke. Young guys out there think that COVID is the flu; you don’t want to go through what we’re going through. Losing a brother, you can’t buy that you can’t go to Ross to get it at the store, you can go to eBay or Amazon to buy a brother or family member. What we can do is listen, mask up, stay away, or even just stay home – please.”
The IACP or International Association of Chiefs of Police posted condolences on their Twitter page. “We send our condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Customs Officer Renie Tumanda, Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency, Guam.”