Cagayan Valley cops shine in 2022 World Police and Fire Games in Netherlands

Published August 6, 2022, 7:57 AM

by Liezle Basa Iñigo

NUEVA VIZCAYA – Six Cagayan Valley cops stood at the forefront of a mighty show by the Philippine National Police team in the 2022 World Police and Fire Games in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Photos courtesy of Corporal Edward C Barrera/NVPPO

They were Police Staff Sergeant Eva Claire Capelo Santiago, PCpl. Edward C. Barrera, PCpl. Randolph S. Maraggun, PCpl. Joselito C. Aquino and PMSgt. Aaron Jayxen Banatao.

SSgt. Santiago, who hails from Centro, Peñablanca, Cagayan and assigned at PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group as Training PNCO, took home four gold medals, including one in taekwondo women’s kyorugi under 49 kgs.

Barrera, who is assigned at the Nueva Vizcaya Police Provincial Office, won one gold (Poomsae team), two silver (Poomsae pair, Individual Class A) and one bronze medals (men’s kyorugi, 68kgs).

PMSergeant Aaron Jayxen Banatao, a native of barangay Nattanzan, Iguig, Cagayan and currently assigned to the Public Information Office, Office of the Chief PNP in Camp Crame, Quezon City, clinched a gold and a silver also in taekwondo to also make significant contribution in the PNP’s strong taekwondo team.

In all, the 14-man PNP taekwondo team actually bagged 17 gold, 10 silver and 8 bronze medals to run away with the title in the sport, one of 62 sports disciplines contested in the games. The other results though were not available at press time owing to the difficulty in interpreting the Games’ website.

PCpl Joselito C. Aquino, a cop from Tuguegarao City, meanwhile also hogged the limelight as he copped a gold in badminton’s mixed doubles open category.

PCpl. Randolph S. Maraggun shone in karatedo with silver and bronze finishes.

Barrera and Banatao are expected to continue their training in preparation for next year’s edition in Winnipeg, Canada.

It will be recalled that ten years after the launch of the World Police and Fire Games in America, the biennial Games moved to North America for the first time and in Australia.

The Games is said to be the second largest sporting event in the world with 10,000 athletes in attendance.

Meanwhile, Colonel Ranser Evasco, Provincial director of Nueva Vizcaya Police Provincial Office, said that NOVO COPs family is proud of Corporal Edward Barrera.

“The NOVO COPS family is so proud and honored that one of our own personnel PCpl Edward Barrera, a member of the 14 man PNP taekwondo team bagged 1 gold, 2 silver, and 1 bronze in the recent World Police and Fire Games held at Rotterdam, the Netherlands last 22-31,2022,” said Col Evasco in a statement.

He said Barrera’s victory in the competition is not only for himself and to the NOVO COPS family, but also for the whole PNP and the country,” added Col. Evasco

The official said that upon the arrival of Corporal Edward Barrera to Nueva Vizcaya, he will be given due recognition from the NVPPO and from the Provincial Local Government under Hon. Gov. Carlos Padilla aside from the monetary support that will be given to him.

Likewise, Police Regional Office 2 led by Police Brigadier General Steve B Ludan, Regional Director was proud of the victory of the police officer and congratulated him for bringing honor to the ranks of the PNP and even to the whole world.

There were other Filipino bets in the Games but how they fared in the just-concluded world competition were not available at press time and would be known later.