FROM an all-female Police-Community Precinct in Bonifacio Global City to an all-women Highway Patrol team in EDSA, Philippine National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, is bent on tapping the full potential of the PNP women corps in their anti-criminality and anti-corruption campaign to show what the phrase women empowerment really means in the male-dominated organization.
“We previously had the all-women PNP station in Sta. Maria, Siquijor, then we had the all-women Highway Patrol Team helping man traffic on busy EDSA, and now the all-women PCP in BGC, these all show the affirmation of women empowerment in the PNP at its best,” said Gen. Gamboa as the PNP started marking the International Women’s Month this month.
Recognizing the major role and importance of women in the police force is one of the priority programs of the PNP leadership which is saying that the country’s policewomen have proven their worth in all aspects of policing would be an understatement.
So far, the record of retired Police Director or Major General Lina C. Sarmiento is yet to be broken since she still remains to be the highest-ranked female officer the country has ever seen. Sarmiento, a former PNP Director for Police-Community Relations is now receiving the pension of a Lieutenant General.
Apart from Sarmiento, other policewomen who became police one-star generals in the past are Yolanda Tanigue, Teresa Cid and Tess Dumlao. At present, Ma. Asuncion Placino, currently the Executive Officer of the PNP Directorate for Integrated Police Operations-Southern Luzon is the only active police female general in the country.
Under the Duterte administration, other policewomen who have made their mark in the PNP are Colonel Angela Rejano of the Siquijor Police Provincial Office, former Col. Royina Garma of the Cebu City Police Office who is now the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office general manager, Col. Jean Fajardo of the Pampanga Police Provicnial Office and Colonel Portia Manalad, the first female graduate of the PNP Academy who also set the record when she became the first female director of the Cotabato City Police Office-actually the first woman to command a key Mindanao police position.
When he was still the Police Regional Office 7 director in Central Visayas, Major Gen. Debold M. Sinas, now the National Capital Region Police Office chief boasted of brilliant policewomen working under her: Garma, Rejano Lt. Col. Maribel Detigan of the Danao City Police Station, Lt. Col. Emelie Santos of the Bogo City Police Station, Lt. Col. Janette Rafter of the Toledo City Police Station, Lt. Col. Clarissa Gabutan of the Carcar Municipal Police Station and Lt. Col. Catherina Ramos of the Tanjay City Police Station in Negros Oriental.
Apart from doing undercover works, female police personnel are assigned to PNP Women and Children Desks across the country which were created to help protect women from domestic violence and investigate all cases of prostitution, cyber crimes and other exploitation of Filipino women and their kids.
Last year, PNP Highway Patrol Group director, Brigadier Gen. Eliseo DC Cruz fielded an all-women HPG Riders’ Team to help man traffic and go after criminals along the 23.8-kilometer long EDSA.
“This is a 48-strong all-women team of Riders who are trained to shoot, knows self-defense and most importantly, are bringing a different brand of HPG presence on EDSA,” said Cruz who has ordered his policewomen to join the inspection of unregistered motor vehicles entering Camp Crame.
Last Monday, Sinas, joined by Taguig Representative Lani Cayetano launched the all-female PCP in BGC as the NCRPO said it is their own way of recognizing the role of women in nation-building and in maintaining peace and order.
Sinas believes that empowerment of women would mean encouraging them to be independent, have positive self-esteem and generate confidence as they face any difficult situations related to policing.