By Genalyn Kabiling
The country’s new batch of police officers should never be deceived by power or fame as they start their service to the nation, President Duterte said Friday.
The President challenged the 201-member Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) Sansiklab Class of 2019 to become the “greatest version” of themselves and perform their duty with integrity, loyalty, patriotism, and compassion as instilled by their alma mater.
“Your goal must now be to serve and protect our people and country to the best of your ability. I, therefore, challenge your class, the ‘Sansiklab’ Class of 2019 to be the greatest version of yourselves,” Duterte said during the graduation ceremony held at the PNPA grounds in Silang, Cavite.
“Excel in your chosen pursuits, lend your abilities to all our communities and stand by your principles at all costs. Never be deceived by power nor by fame. What is important is your honor, for it is your badge towards genuine success,” he added.
Duterte also called on the fresh police graduates to support and contribute to the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs, terrorism, and corruption.
“Now, more than ever, the Philippines needs optimistic and brave men and women like you who have the qualities to be effective and efficient public servants,” he said.
He assured that the national government would continue to support the Philippine National Police, the Bureau of Fire Protection, and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology through programs that would improve capacity, uplift morale, and ensure the well-being of their families.
Duterte said he looks forward to working with the new police graduates in building “a safer, more peaceful, and more progressive nation for all Filipinos.” “I trust that with rigid training you received from the Academy, you are now ready to face all the challenges that may come your way as you heed the call of duty,” he said.
He asked the PNPA graduates to take inspiration from the success story of class valedictorian Jervis Allen Ramos, an impoverished boy from Tondo, Manila who rose to become this year’s top graduate. “May it always remind you that amidst all the [adversities] and obstacles of life, nothing is impossible as long as you keep your eye on your goals,” he said.
Prior to his speech, the President handed out the diplomas to the police cadets during the commencement exercise. The graduates earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Safety with the rank of inspector in their respective service bureaus.
For graduating on top of the class, Ramos received the Presidential Kampilan Award and a certificate for a house and lot from Camella Homes Inc. from the President.
Vice President Leni Robredo, who attended the event, also gave the Vice President Kampilan award to class salutatorian Merriefin Carisusa of Cebu.
Sansiklab stands for “Sandigan ng Mamamayan na may Sigasig na Itaguyod ang Kapayapaan at Ipaglaban ang Bayan.”
The President, in his speech, said the PNPA graduation ceremony was auspicious since it coincided with the 150th birth anniversary of General Emilio Aguinaldo, the first President of the republic.
He said he hopes Aguinaldo’s gallantry, sacrifice, and service would inspire the police graduates and other Filipinos in building a better nation.