The chief of police of Jalajala in Rizal Province has been chosen as one of the 2022 Metrobank Foundation’s Ten Outstanding Filipinos.
Police Capt. Rosalino Panlaqui, chief of police of the Jalajala Police Station, was among the three police officers who were recognized by the foundation.
Aside from the three policemen awardees, the Metrobank Foundation also picked for this year four educators and three soldiers to comprise the Top Ten.
Capt. Panlaqui, who has three children with ages 10, 8, and 4, has been the chief of the Jalajala Police Station in Jalajala, Rizal for over a year.
When asked by this reporter about his most unforgettable experience as a police officer in the lakeshore municipality of Jalajala, Panlaqui recalled the May 15, 2021 incident when he received a phone call from a woman seeking his help for her husband and son who went missing after their jetski sank in the Laguna Lake.
The chief of police said that out of their eagerness to help, he and four other members of the police station, rushed to the lake to search for the two missing civilians.
While in the middle of their rescue attempt, their boat sank, leaving them floating in the middle of the lake for more than six hours.
Panlaqui said the water current separated him from his co-policemen but they all managed to stay afloat until the Philippine Coast Guard personnel arrived to rescue them. One of the two civilians, however, died from a heart attack at the time of the incident.
The awardee cop said fear did not come into his mind at that time as he was focused on how he could help in searching for the missing civilians.
“Despite the cramps and my limited experience in swimming, I never had any fear that it would be the last day of my life. I remained calm and stayed optimistic that we would survive that incident. It was a traumatizing experience but if a similar incident will happen again in the future, I will never hesitate to lead my troops again and put my life at risk once more in an attempt to save the lives of others,” Panlaqui said.
He added that helping others makes him feel that all his sacrifices are worth it.
“Being a police officer is never easy as it requires a lot of sacrifices,” the police awardee added.
Panlaqui said a policeman should “always perform his sworn duty with sincerity and wholeheartedly because if all police officers will show genuine concern to our countrymen, I am very optimistic that the trust and confidence of the people on police officers will eventually be restored.”
The outstanding Filipinos are defined by character, competence, and compassion. They embody the meaning of “Beyond Excellence” for rendering service above and beyond their call of duty as educators, peacekeepers, and defenders. Their contributions speak of not only caliber, but also of heart and community presence,” Metrobank Foundation President Aniceto Sobrepeña said.