MANILA, January 28, 2004 (STAR) By Christina Mendez - A police officer who has only the letter "X" as his first name has been chosen as the best non-commissioned officer of the year by the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Police Officer 3 (PO3) X M. Yap, of the Western Visayas Regional Police Office (RPO) 6, will be among the eight recipients of individual awards during the 13th PNP anniversary celebration tomorrow.

Roy Navales of the PNP Public Information Office said Yap has been practicing for the past two days as he is among those who will participate in the arrival honors during the celebration of PNP Day at the headquarters grandstand in Camp Crame.

With X as his first name and only a three-letter surname, Yap caught the attention of reporters covering the PNP.

Yap was not available and has not granted interviews as to the reasons why his parents simply named him X.

Officials, however, assured Yap will be present to answer these questions when President Arroyo will present to him tomorrow the award as the best junior non-commissioned police officer of the year along with other police officials.

Among the individual awardees are Senior Superintendent Jose Arne de los Santos of the RPO 5 as the Best Police Commissioned Officer (operations); Chief Inspector Michael John Dubria of RPO 11 as Junior Police Commissioned Officer of the Year; Antonio Retrato as Non-Uniformed Personnel of the Year (Supervisor, Division Level); Elaine Solis, Non-Uniformed Personnel of the Year (Supervisory-Section Level), and Rosefiela del Pilar as Non-Uniformed Personnel of the Year (Non-Supervisory Level).

In a statement, PNP chief Director General Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. said the presentation of the awards to outstanding police units and personnel will highlight this year’s celebration of the 13th founding anniversary of the PNP under the theme "Pulisya at Pamayanan: Kapit Bisig sa Matatag na Republika."

The Regional Police Office 2 (Isabela) has bested 16 other PNP regional offices in administrative and operational accomplishments.

Region II police director Chief Superintendent Jefferson Soriano will receive the Regional Police Office of the Year Award and presidential streamer from Mrs. Arroyo.

The other PNP unit awardees included Logistics and Support Service, which will receive the National Police Commission (Napolcom) streamer as the National Administrative Support Unit of the Year; and Special Action Force, which will receive the Chief PNP streamer as National Operational Support Unit of the Year.

Central Police District (CPD) director Chief Superintendent Napoleon Castro will receive the award for the NCR Police District of the Year.

The Quezon Province Police Office was voted as the best Police Provincial Office of the Year; Baguio City police as the best City Police Office of the Year; Escalante City Police Station as PNP Police Station of the Year; Luna, Apayao-Municipal Police Station of the Year; RPO 11 Mobile Group -Regional Mobile Group of the Year; 901st Provincial Mobile Group, Zamboanga del Norte -Provincial Mobile Group of the Year; Davao City Police - Women & Children Protection Desk (Urban) of the Year; Tarlac Police Provincial Office - Women & Children Protection Desk (Rural) of the Year.

The Anti-Illegal Drugs-Special Operations Task Force (AID-SOTF) under Deputy Director General Edgar Aglipay will be among the police units which will receive plaques of appreciation for the seizure of P13 billion worth of illegal drugs. The Police Anti-Crime and Emergency Response (PACER) was also cited for the safe rescue of a total of seven kidnap victims and capture of 31 suspects.

Special recognition will be given to the Special Action Force and the Southern Police District for their crucial role in isolating the conflict area during the infamous July 27, 2003 Oakwood mutiny.

The President will also award housing grants to families of PNP personnel killed in the line of duty. She will lead the ceremonies that will look back at the significant achievements of the PNP since its inception on Jan. 29, 1991.

The PNP suffered a major setback last year when convicted Indonesian bomber Fathur Rohman al-Ghozi escaped detention with two suspected Abu Sayyaf members.

On the anti-crime front, the PNP reported out that there was 23.8 percent decrease in street crimes last year with Metro Manila posting an unprecedented 56 percent decline.

A total of 43,739 suspects facing various criminal offenses were arrested, 770 of them in the most wanted list.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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