In the recent anniversary celebration of the Manila Police District (MPD) held at the MPD headquarters on United Nations Avenue in Ermita, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno delivered a moving speech that I’m sure struck a sensitive chord among the policemen present, including their families.
In his speech, Mayor Kois set former Mayor Afredo S. Lim as a ‘template’ as to how far policemen may go in the field of public service if only they do well with their current job.
He noted that in the long history of the MPD, there are countless stories of chivalry, strength of character and courage in the past as there was even a time when the reputation of policemen from the then Western Police District as the ‘’çream of the crop’ preceded them.
‘Mas magandang pakinggan na ‘’batang Western’ yan or ‘batang WPD’…in fact, even to the point that this district produced a mayor among yourselves, si Mayor Fred Lim…pulis-Maynila. Dito nagsimula ýun,’ he said.
Mayor Kois went on to cite that from being a patrolman, Lim rose from the ranks to become a Major General and held the highest office in the local government unit as a mayor for several terms.
‘Sa madaling salita, kapag kayo ay nag-ige sa paglilingkod sa bayan, me paglago kayo bilang lingkod-bayan,’ he said.
Mayor Kois also narrated to the policemen present how, in his days as a youngster, they would react with the highest respects at the sight of a uniformed cop, something which he said the MPD should aim for these days.
‘Dapat, kapag nakakita sila (public) ng pulis, iginagalang dahil alam nilang meron silang kalalagyan kapag gumawa sila ng kalokohan. Ýun ‘kasi ang nakagisnan kong pulis-Maynila,” he said.
Mayor Kois further recounted: ‘Nung araw, pag nandiyan ang lespu, pagdilim ‘’sansui’ (ísang sutsot, uwi) na kami. Ganyan ang respeto namin sa pulis..ganyan din ang pangarap ng pamahalaan para sa inyo.’
He also stressed that the MPD policemen should have the said kind of dignity when they wear their uniform and added that they must work to maintain the trust of the people ‘who must respect them because they are respectable”.
The mayor likewise shared an occasion when he and Maj. Jhun Ibay, chief of the special mayor’s reaction team (SMART) were talking about the impressive, legendary cops who have either retired or passed on and said he would want the MPD policemen to aspire for such a status in the history of law enforcement.
‘’Sayang naman (opportunity to make history)… gusto ko sana, maging bahagi rin kayo ng mga kwentuhan balang araw… nung araw, pag andiyan na ang lespu, gumegedli na kami and I want that kind of story for you… I want you immortalized,’ said Moreno, as he assured the MPD members that just by simply doing their job well, the people will not forget them already.
Mayor Kois likewise said that he would want every cop’s family to consistently state with pride that: ‘minsan sa buhay nila, ang tatay nila ay naging pulis-Maynila.’
He also called on the MPD to never allow anyone to get away with harming or worse, killing a Manila cop or any policeman for that matter, saying: ‘Walang tolongges na didisgrasya ng pulis tapos ipagkikibit-balikat lang natin. Halughugin nyo lahat ng’baul ng bansang ito… you should not allow it, papanagutin at ihoyo ninyo ‘’wag nyong tutulugan’. I want them (criminals) to respect the MPD.’
Indeed, Mayor Lim once recounted that if a cop gets killed during their time, all of them would drop everything and direct all their attention to getting the suspect or suspects.
Lim also said that in those days, the killer is usually caught or killed while the slain cop lies in state or before he is finally laid to rest. That was then.
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