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Honoring Peacekeepers Of The Country: The Philippine National Police

Following the retirement of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) General Pio Catapang last June, General Leonardo Espina also steps down from his post in the Philippine National Police (PNP). In his place,  in the PNP Change Of Command Ceremony in Camp Crame, held last July 16, 2015.

Photo Credit: Philstar.com

Knowing Our Police Force

In accordance with Republic Act 6975 aka. Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990, the PNP we know today was officially formed in January 29, 1991, upon the merging of the Philippine Constabulary and Integrated National Police. With Headquarters located in Quezon City, the 160,000 strong force belongs under the Department of Interior and Local Government.

Leonardo Espina became the 19th PNP Chief in February 2015 following the removal of PNP Chief Alan Purisima from his post. The Force had suffered greatly in January, when 44 officers in the Special Action Force fell during the Mamasapano Maguindanao encounter.

The New PNP Chief Ricardo Marquez officially took over on July 19. As I listen to his inaugural speech, I have come to know the 20th PNP Chief as someone promising. In words put simply, like all the PNP Chiefs before him, he is not meek on wanting to make improvements and changes in the Police Service, for the betterment of this country – the safety of its people. (See: Marquez’s Inaugural Speech FULL TEXT)

Espina, on Tuesday, earlier remarked on Marquez’s “proven track record,” describing him, rather, to be a hardworking officer.” In his inaugural speech, he mentions a new anti-crime model they’ve been working on.

 

Looking Forward to Peace

I admire the force and its efforts to sustain peace within the nation’s borders. For instance, the PNP’s preparation for President Benigno Aquino III’s final State of the Nation Address (SONA) was substantial and, as Marquez put it, “not overkill.” I would like to believe that PNP is taking every step to observe peace within the country but what about us? What part do we play?

In keeping the peace, there should be mutual agreement amnong all concerned parties for the Police Force does not have simply one enemy. We keep blaming and blaming but what do we really do? In the end, rallies are futile and blaming reaps nothing. I support these peacekeepers in their intentions and admire all those who have joined the force for the greater good, not for self-profit or gain but genuinely for the peace.

Truly, there has not been enough thanks but criticism, not only toward the government but most especially even towards our Police force. And, in this scenario, we cannot blame them if they are discouraged by these strong oppositions that aim to further the demise rather than help the cause.

But for this matter also, it is very timely for events that promote our heroes rather than destroy them. Such was with the recently concluded “Songs For Heroes 2: Ang Mamatay ng Dahil Sa’yo,” a benefit concert under UNTV: Your Public Service Channel in which we showcased talents from and for the PNP and AFP. On behalf of the Filipino people who truly care, I support our peacekeepers and their sacrifices for our country throughout the years.

 

See also:

PNP Change of Command Ceremony (Video) | Rappler.com

TRANSCRIPT: SONA 2015 sa Wikang Filipino | UNTV Web

7 Reasons to Watch and Support Benefit Concerts like Songs For Heroes 2 | With Letters and Time

Songs For Heroes 2 | PNP Public Information Office

SAF44 Inspired Sequel Concert: Songs For Heroes 2 | Medium.com

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Honoring the Peacekeepers of the Country: Philippine Military

What if the Philippine Military Didn’t Exist?

A country is defined by many things – its people, its culture, geographical borders and natural resources, but what would our country be without its military?

“We must never forget why we have, and why we need our military. Our armed forces exist solely to ensure our nation is safe, so that each and every one of us can sleep soundly at night, knowing we have ‘guardians at the gate.’” – Allen West.

Today, the Republic of the Philippines stands strong, having good ties with many countries including strong nations like the United States of America.

According to a global review of military forces, the country ranks 40th in the world (See: GlobalFirePower.com), ranking 6th strongest military in South East Asia, after Malaysia. The Philippine Military has around 220,000 active frontline personnel and 430,000 in reserve.

So, what if, all of a sudden, it disappeared?

A Nation Divided

Without a military to protect us, we would not stay united for long. It is most likely that we would be easily colonized by surrounding countries like China and Japan, and stronger nations such as the United States, and since we will not be a threat to any invaders.

Because of its geographical position, the country holds fairly well economically. So why wouldn’t we be targeted by larger nations for trade and natural resource, to add to that?

The Republic of Minerva fell after Congo recovered the disputed land. They didn’t have the military means to fight back. Thus, without our military, we can only imagine what will become of the Philippines. Our nation may inevitably become disputed territory itself.

At present, there are only 23 nations without an active military. Unlike these 23 nations, the Philippines cannot afford to lose its own.

Collapse from Within

According to Global Fire Power Staff Writer, “With a growing economy and lack of bordering neighbors, the main threat to the Philippines comes from within.” I quite agree. A lack of military force to sustain government may result in an uprising within its own people.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines, together with the Philippine National Police, are peacekeepers of this nation. Russel Neglia says, “No nation can call itself great without an efficient military.” (See: Why A Nation’s Military Is So Important) So whether from within the country or in the international playing field, we civilians have a lot to be thankful for.

Showing our Appreciation

Our land, water and sky is kept safe by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) whose lives are dedicated to protecting us, just like those from the Special Action Force (SAF) who were part of the Mamasapano Expedition in January 2015 where 44 brave men died.

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(c) Songs For Heroes on Facebook

The day of the encounter, our country suffered a great loss and we sympathized deeply with the families they left behind. In March, to commemorate these valiant men, UNTV: Your Public Service Channel launched the “Songs For Heroes Concert,” a project initiated by Bro. Eli Soriano of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) and Mr. Public Service Daniel Razon in coordination with the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines, which was held at the Araneta Coliseum in March.

“…Let us be like our Gallant 44 heroes who have died for the sake peace.”

Bro. Eli Soriano, Songs of Heroes Concert, March 2015

Over 6 Million in pesos was raised for the benefit of the bereaved families, but it doesn’t end there.

Another benefit concert is promised and coming to fruition soon, proving time and again the Public Service advocacy of UNTV. Together, let us look forward to and support “Songs For Heroes 2” which is aimed at assisting members of the SAF who were injured during the Mamasapano Maguindanao encounter.

To know more about Songs For Heroes Benefit Concert, read the following articles:

http://www.philstar.com/entertainment/2015/03/26/1437501/songs-heroes-raises-p6m

http://www.untvradio.com/proceeds-sa-songs-for-heroes-concert-ipinagkaloob-na-sa-pnp/

http://www.untvweb.com/news/the-night-we-sang-for-heroes/

https://airamesereth.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/3-good-things-the-songs-for-heroes-concert-showed-us/

To know more about the Philippine Military, see the links below below:

http://www.globalfirepower.com/country-military-strength-detail.asp?country_id=philippines

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3 Good Things the Songs for Heroes Concert Showed Us

Earlier this year, 44 soldiers of the Special Action Force were killed by muslim rebels during a mission in Mamasapano, Mindanao. When Televangelist Brother Eliseo F. Soriano of the group Members Church of God International (MCGI) heard of this great casualty, he no sooner proposed that a Charity Concert be launched to commemorate the so-called Gallant 44, and provide help to the families they left behind.

With the efforts of Mr. Public Service Kuya Daniel Razon and UNTV: Your Public Service Channel, the ‘Songs for Heroes Concert’ was arranged and set on March 19, 2015 at the SM Mall Of Asia Arena. The concert venue was easily jam-packed, and it was a total success. At least 7 Million Pesos was raised for the families of the Gallant 44, members of the Special Action Force who were killed. It was amazing to see a lot of people come together to support the event, and a lot of famous people who helped sponsor the event. (See: Brother Eli Soriano’s Call on Twitter Produced Full House Songs For Heroes Concert)

Being able to partake in this moving event, I feel quite inspired and uplifted. I feel happy and just thankful to God for these families, despite the heartache they have recently suffered. And with regards to the concert, here are 3 wonderful facts that it has taught us:

1. Officers are tough-looking, protectors of society who can sing.
In this heartwarming event, we were able to witness performances not only from renowned musical artists, bands and YouTube sensations, but from AFP and PNP’s very own. A notable performance by 3rd Class Officer Lorly Diatras with his rendition of the song “Go the Distance,” sung with the AFP Combo, was well-loved by the audience. The Philippine National Police’s very own Major Allan Cabanlong also sung the tear-jerking interpretation of “In My Life” together with the PNP Combo.

“PNP Major Allan Cabanlong singing ‘In My Life,'” Originally posted on Twitter by @TheOldPathTV

And the AFP and PNP Chorale in their uniforms were admirable as they sung the Nationa Anthem, standing alongside artists Jayson Fernandez, Miro Valera, Jeck Manuel and Mcoy, when they later performed the Medley songs “Salamat” and “Iisang Bangka” which emphasized how life may not always be a smooth-sailing voyage, and that true friends are needed during times of the rough waves.

“The AFP and PNP Chorale,” Photo taken by Prince Maverick Medina Marquez/Photoville International (taken from untvradio.com)

As Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang, AFP Chief of Staff, later mentioned in his speech, “While you may see us as tough-looking individuals displaying no emotions, as what our duty requires, we also have lighter sides which we are so willing to display especially tonight. We in the Armed forces of the Philippines are very much privileged to join our celebrity entertainers, as well as our talented singers and musicians in performing for tonight’s benefit concert.”

2. You can bring the starry night sky to people who need them.
All the performances were very heart-warming and tear-jerking. Some songs were about patriotism; others poked through hearts and made to reminisce the happiest moments of the families of the SAF 44 before their tragic deaths.

Some in the audience were in tears as they listened to the duet performances of Faith Cuneta and Bo Cerrudo, performing the songs “Dakilang Lahi” and “Iisang Lahi.” The group 5th Gen performed “One Sweet Day” which, on a positive light, brought a message of hope that they would one day see their loved ones’ smiling faces again.

“These people are very simple people who died na wala silang naiwan sa pamilya nila kundi yung pagmamahal nila sa bayan… in this way malaking bagay itong magagawa dahil itong benefit concert na ito ay makakatulong lalo na sa family ng mga naulila ng ating mga heroes.” (“These people are very simple people who died leaving nothing to their families but love for their country… in this way, it is a great contribution because this benefit concert will help especially the families left behind by our heroes.”)

– Jeck Manuel, Artist/Performer

You wouldn’t exactly be able to choose which performance stood out because all were lovely and special in their own way, with each performer really pouring their sympathies for the families. But when Noel Cabangon took the stage to perform “Kanlungan” and asked the audience to ‘light up’ their cell phones, it sent a beautiful message that I wished could’ve wipe the tears of the grieving family members. Because when there’s rain pour, it’s quite hard to see the beautiful stars in the night sky.

“MOA Arena lights up with cellular phones while Noel Cabangon plays ‘Kanlungan,'” Photo by Kenji Hasegawa/Photoville International for MCGI

These families were grieving, yes, but after the rain has passed and dark clouds lifted, it would be wonderful to see the countless stars that are perhaps willing to guide the way to a peaceful heart—reminding them that there are so many people who sympathize with them. And I learned that if you can’t be under the starry night sky because of the dark clouds, you can still light up the dark MOA Arena during a mesmerizing star-light performance.

This brings me to my third point.

3. There are people who genuinely care.
When some families were interviewed and asked about their thoughts regarding the benefit concert, one of them, Nicky Nacino, Sr., father of late SAF member, PO2 Nicky Nacino Jr., honestly replied that he at first doubted the gesture by UNTV saying, “Kasi marami ng gumamit ng [nangyari sa] SAF para lang mangalap [ng pera]. Iyon po yung una kong reaksyon, pero sa nakita ko po ngayon parang nagagandahan naman ako kasi pag pasok palang namin iba yung tumanggap. Habang hinahatid kami, iba ng iba. ‘Uy okay ata ito’ sabi ko” (“Because many are using the SAF [incident] to garner [money]. That was my first reaction, but with what I have seen now, I found it pleasing because even when we first came here, the welcoming was different. As we were escorted, it was improving. ‘Oh, I think this [event] is okay,’ I told myself.”)

We admire your sincerity and believe that you also found it in your heart the sincerity of this event that was meant especially for you.

Brother Eli Soriano, the proponent of this Benefit Concert, through live-streaming, spoke at the event, reminiscing how he thought of the idea in the first place. “Karangalan para sa kanilang pamilya na sila’y sumuong sa mapanganib na lugar para lamang ipatupad ang batas, to serve the warrant of arrest of some suspects of criminal acts; na aking naisip ang bagay na ito na ‘papaano kaya matutulungan?’ Kasi I want to sympathize with these people, yung kanilang mga naiwang pamilya… (It is an honor to their families that they infiltrate into a dangerous place for the sake of fulfilling the command, to serve the warrant of arrest of some suspects of criminal acts; then I thought this, ‘how could [we] possibly help them?’ Because I want to sympathize with these people, the families they have left behind…)”

@BroEliSoriano on Twitter

Brother Eli Soriano also offered free scholarship at La Verdad Christian College Caloocan for the children of the Gallant 44, and thanked all those who supported and graced the event, acknowledging Atom Henares, president of the Progressive Broadcasting Corporation who so willingly donated an additional 500,000 php for the families.

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PNP Officer-in-charge Police Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, through Police Superintendent Nestor Quinsay said, “On the part of the PNP, we will always be here for the families and loved ones of our brave 44. While we move forward from sadness we felt in their tragic death, bilang kinatawan ng PNP, lubos po ang aming pasasalamat sa lahat ng nakiramay at patuloy na tumutulong sa pamilya ng ating magigiting na pulis.”

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The outpouring love and support was plentiful. Being able to witness such an event take place for the benefit of these families, to help them in the process of grieving, letting them know that a lot of people cared enough about them and that they are not alone in seeking justice for their loved ones’ deaths, it was just such a worthwhile experience.

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Thanks be to God. May God bless us all.

“Nakita ko na marami pala kaming kasama na lalaban para sa hustisya.” (“I see [now] that many are actually with us to fight for justice.”

– Erica Pabalinas, widow of Sr. Insp. Ryan Pabalinas

Kuya Daniel Razon, in agreement with Brother Eli Soriano, plans to make a second Benefit Concert dedicated to the other 77 injured SAF 44. Everybody is waiting for it to come to fruition.