PRESIDENT Duterte yesterday called on 201 members of the Philippine National Police Academy to stick to their principles as they start a new career in their lives as public servants.
Challenging the 201 members of PNPA Sansiklab Class of 2019 led by Cadet Jervis Allen Ramos to be the ‘greatest version of yourselves,’ the President enjoined the new uniformed officers to fully support and give their own contribution to the government’s war on drugs, crime, terrorism and corruption.
“Just keep in mind that your commencement exercise is just the beginning of a greater responsibility ahead of you as you choose the branch of service,” President Duterte said as he called on the graduates to bring with them the principles of integrity and loyalty and the values of patriotism and compassion instilled to them during the 4-year stint at the police academy.
Ramos, a product of a poor family from Tondo made his parents and siblings proud when he topped his Class and received the Presidential Kampilan Award and the Chief PNP Kampilan Award.
Of the 201 members of PNPA Class 2019, 138 will join the PNP while the rest will become members of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and the Bureau of Fire Protection.
The PNPA Sansiklab Class or short for “Sandigan ng Mamamayan na may Sigasig na Itaguyod ang Kapayapaan at Ipaglaban ang Bayan” is composed of 154 males and 47 females.
The biggest number of the graduates hails from Cordillera Administrative Region while 26 led by Ramos are from Metro Manila.
Cadette Merriefin Carisusa of Madellin Cebu was the class salutatorian and received the Vice-President Kampilan Award.
The other top graduates of the class are Cadette Mary Grace Pabilario of San Enrique, Negros Occidental; Cadet Ferdinand Mark Lagchana of Mayoyao, Ifugao; Cadette Ciara Ley Capule of M’lang, North Cotabato; Cadette Mary Ann delos Santos of Alcala, Cagayan; Cadette Anna May Mangabo of San Jose Occiental Mindoro; Cadet Salvador Pidlaoan of Calasiao, Pangasinan; Cadet Jake Sawey of Lamut, Ifugao; and, Cadet Sarwin Sernio of Paco, Manila.
What made yesterday’s graduation rites more memorable was the fact that six of the Top 10 of the Class were females, a fitting tribute to women power as the country is celebrating the National Women’s Month.
Members of the Class whose motto is to ‘live as saviors, die as heroes,’ earned a degree in Bachelor of Science in Public Safety. The class was originally composed of 350 members in 2015 but the others failed to make the grade during the early stages of their training.
During his speech, PNPA director, Chief Superintendent Jose Chiquito Malayo of Philippine Military Academy Class 1989 addressed the parents of graduates, whom he described as those who “shielded their children from the consequences brought about by their immaturity when they were young.”
“However today, after spending years away from your physical care, your son and daughter, now proudly standing in front of us, are molded and transformed into matured individuals capable of standing up for their actions and ready to protect not only for themselves and family but also for the community they promised to serve,” said Malayo, a former PNP Counter-Intelligence Task Force commander.
President Duterte was guest of honor at the commencement exercises. He was joined by Vice-President Ma. Leni Robredo, Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año, BFP Director Leonard Bañago, BJMP Jail Director Deogracias Tapayan and PNP Deputy Chief for Operations-Officer-in-Charge, Deputy Director General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa.
Gamboa represented PNP chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde who is on an official trip in the United States where he is attending a Federal Bureau of Investigation-sponsored counter-terrorism program.
The 24-year old Cadet Ramos is the youngest son of Priscilla, 58, a poor Tondo resident who sold spaghetti or pancit palabok on the street to raise her three children. His jeepney driver-father Jorge died of a liver disease in 2008.
However, poverty did not stop Ramos from dreaming big, a dream which he fulfilled when he made his mother and siblings cry as he led his Class yesterday.
Ramos studied criminology at the Universidad de Manila and placed 3rd in the Criminologist Board Exam in October 2014. He not only passed but also ranked third in the Criminologist Board Exam in October 2014.
According to him, his late father’s childhood dream was to become a policeman and failing to become one, wished that someday, one of his children would become a cop ready to serve and protect the public.