The United States’ Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement office in Manila (INL) on Monday paid tribute to three Filipina law enforcement officers for their contributions and help in maintaining peace across the Philippines.
The three honorees presented in the video were P/Lt. Col. Kimberly Molitas, chief, Public Community Relations, PNP Highway Patrol Group; Donelyn Hemedez, assistant regional director of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Region VI, and P/Maj. Ofelia Valdez, chief, Field Training Program Section, PNP Directorate for Human Resource and Doctrine Development.
The tribute video, which was posted on the U.S. Embassy’s social media page, coincides with the observance of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month.
According to Kelia Cummins, Director of the Bureau of INL Enforcement Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, the capacity-building program for women in law enforcement is a very important part of their work in the Philippines.
“Daily, I am inspired by the stories of our women leaders in the field… Despite it all, despite stereotypes and discrimination, (they) facilitate communication and engage the community they serve to enable change,” Cummins said in her message.
As part of its programs, the United States, through the INL bureau under the US Department of State, works with Philippine law enforcement officers and other partners to advance women’s full participation in criminal justice professions.
In 2018, the INL flew 10 Filipina law enforcement officers to Tbilisi, Georgia for a workshop on global women in policing.
The following year in 2019, the US Embassy supported the Philippines by co-hosting the inaugural Asia Women Leading Law Enforcement Conference in Quezon City.
Lt. Col. Molitas said attending the INL conference has built a relationship between her and all the attendees across the world.
“I think the law enforcement around the world needs women because we are the heart of the organization. I really encourage women to join law enforcement. It is a challenging and a daunting task but it is also very rewarding and it’s very important so that we keep peace across countries, across Asia, and across the world,” Molitas said.