, DECEMBER 24, 2007  (STAR) A COMMITMENT By Tingting Cojuangco - I asked former cadets that question, now that they’re young police inspectors upon graduation from the Philippine National Police Academy.

Cadets are classified into four classes corresponding to the four years studying for their bachelor of science degree in public safety. In their first year they are called “Plebes” or “Sheeps,” also known as Cadets Fourth Class; then, in their second year they are referred to as Cadets Third Class (or “Seers”); in their third year they are Cadets Second Class and called “Stewards”; finally, in their Fourth Year they are the “Shepherds,” being Cadets First Class or the graduating class.

Life inside the academy is uniquely different from civilian life as you and I know it. Young men and women come together in pursuit of a common goal. That they come from a rich mix of cultural, economic and educational backgrounds is the least of their worries. I’d think leaving the civilian life for a more regimented and disciplined life was the biggest adjustment they had to face. Cadets are definitely kept on a tight leash. And with very limited contact with their family and “outside” friends, the pressure can get to anyone.

Yet the PNPA cadets stand strong in their desire to face up to these challenges, pushed by their individual dreams of serving their country of birth. For four years, they breathe and live the regimented life of a cadet. And with much perseverance, the members of the Class 2007 have endured.

Now that they are young inspectors, I am not at all surprised that their Christmas wishes emerged from their four-year experience. I interviewed several idealistic PNPA ‘07 graduates — your future experienced policemen — to hear their wishes this Christmas:

Miss Pisco, formally referred to as PINSP Mylene M. Pisco, is a rifle sharpshooter and yet a petite 5’4” and just over 100 pounds. “I hope Christmas brings me quality time with my family and friends, I’m including my boyfriend, assigned to the Regional Mobile Group from PNPA Class 2006. I need time for myself to see a doctor for a checkup. I want to be assigned in Manila after my one-year Field Training Program. I want to receive my mid-year bonus, so that I can buy gifts for my family and friends. I want a happy Christmas and a blessed New Year for those who’ll read this column.”

The wish of PINSP Peter Rhyan B. Revillas is simple: gathering his family together. “How I wish I were assigned with my family in Manila but police service means going anywhere the hierarchy commands me to go.”

From PINSP Nonato P. Banania Jr.: “C is for cellphone; H is for happiness in our family; R is for receive my mid-year bonus to purchase gifts; I is for improvement; S is for successful career and service in PPSC and PNP; T is for time for my family and friends; M is for money for Christmas and New Year; A is for assignment in PPSC-NCR after FTP; and S is for my sweetheart.”

“All I want this Christmas is for my girlfriend to be operated on to remove the tumor she has in her left jaw since her family nor I can afford it,” answered PINSP Philam Jay S. Balaquil.

(Is there a sympathetic doctor out there please? This police inspector earns only P16,667 monthly.)

“Change is the only permanent thing in this world. I am experiencing it right now, from the four years of my cadetship training at PNPA to being a full-pledged officer of the PNP with very demanding responsibilities,” narrates PINSP Bjon U. Revecho. “The training that I have undergone at the academy and now at the National Police College for the Officer Basic Course and the Field Training Exercise has prepared me to take on the greatest challenge of being an officer.

“Christmas is fast approaching, and the whole world celebrates the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. We the men and women of the uniformed services are ‘on duty’ to make sure that our community will be safe and protected. This is our purpose — why we are born and why we were educated in this occupation. As a child wishes that Santa will bring him his favorite toy, I have wishes, too. I wish my family and all those I love have good health and enough blessings to enjoy life. I hope God will always guide and protect me, every day of my life, especially when I am performing my duties.”

“I want to work at the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao with the Muslims and be a conduit for peace between Muslims and Christians,” says PINSP Eidyl Christian P. Palmon. In fact, my sharpshooter is an Ilonggo and looks like a Tausug!

“Since my childhood, I had an inclination to help the poor through public service. I know it’s hard but it begins with my dedication to police work and the public I serve,” says PINSP Gemmer C. Tubiera. “Now I’m in my first year as a police inspector. Time to begin to fulfil my Christmas wish to earn a star rank one faraway day.”

And finally, this simple wish from PINSP Alden Lee Panganiban: “I want peace of mind and happiness.”

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So do I, for all of you.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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