By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said police officers should remember and emulate the selfless act of heroism showed by the late Police Master Sgt. Jason Magno who died after he used his body to shield students, teachers and others from a grenade explosion late November at a school in Misamis Oriental.
Andanar made the statement after President Duterte posthumously conferred the Order of Lapu-Lapu, Rank of Kalasag to Magno when he visited his wake in Initao, Misamis Oriental sans fanfare early this week.
The President, at the same time, conferred the Order of Lapu Lapu, Rank of Kampilan to Master Sergeant Alice Balido, who was wounded in the same incident.
In his statement, Andanar lauded the conferment of the awards to Magno and Balido, saying their colleagues in the police force should remember and emulate their heroism.
“Their selfless acts of heroism and bravery so they could protect the civilians went above and beyond the call of duty. It is something that is worth remembering and emulating by our other police officers,” Andanar said.
The former broadcaster expressed that civilians should be inspired by the selfless act of the two policemen to be heroes to those in need and in keeping the country safe.
“For other Filipinos, may their actions be a reminder that we can all be protectors and heroes to others in our own way,” Andanar said.
“Guided by the courage and bravery displayed by both Magno and Balido, may we all be inspired to collectively promote safety and security in our country,” he continued.
The Order of Lapu Lapu, Rank of Kalasag, is given to officials and personnel of the government and private individuals who lost their lives as a direct result of their participation in an activity pursuant to a campaign or advocacy of the President.
The Order of Lapu Lapu, Kampilan Medal, on the other hand, is bestowed upon individuals who were seriously wounded or suffered a great loss of property as a result of their participation in activity pursuant to a campaign or advocacy of the President.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has conferred the Medal of Valor to Magno. The Medal of Valor is the highest PNP award recognizing police personnel who has performed “a deed of personal bravery or self-sacrifice above and beyond the call of duty so conspicuously as to distinguish him above his comrades.”
According to reports, police authorities had rushed to Initao College in Misamis Oriental after receiving information about a man carrying a grenade around the campus.
Magno was reportedly trying to arrest the suspect when the latter lobbed the grenade inside the campus. Magno used his body to shield others from the explosion killing him as a result. The suspect was shot and killed by the police.
Aside from Balido, 16 other individuals were wounded in the grenade attack Initao College.