By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan
FORT DEL PILAR, BAGUIO CITY – A sense of nostalgia swept through Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. as he saw the Philippine Military Academy (PMA)’s Borromeo Field in Fort Del Pilar, Baguio City, and his contemporaries gathered there again for the annual homecoming.
Adding to Azurin’s nostalgia was the fact that he will soon be hanging out his uniform for the last time as PNP chief as he is expected to reach the mandatory retirement age of 56 on April 24.
“Of course, napaka nostalgic di ba at this is my last year na mag-uniform so talagang very memorable kaya majority ng mga class namin still in the active, we wear our uniform today (Of course, this is very nostalgic for me as this is the last year that I will be wearing my uniform while in active service. So this homecoming event is very memorable for me. All of my classmates (PMA Class 1989) still in active service made it a point to attend the homecoming to show ourselves in our uniform and (showcase our pride in it),” Azurin told reporters on the sidelines of PMA Alumni homecoming on Saturday where President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. was the guest of honor.
Azurin said that during his time at the PMA, he never imagined that he would someday be heading the PNP.
However, this does not mean that he did not strive to improve himself and that working hard is sure to pay good dividends in the future.
“You just work your best everyday and you continue to improve your skills and competency at sabi nga ni Presidente kanina napakaimportante nung character (and as President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said earlier, having an upright character is important),” Azurin said.
The PMA Alumni Association, Inc. (PMAAAI) honored Azurin for his outstanding and exceptional contributions to leadership and service to the country.
He was given the “Outstanding Achievement Award” in honor of his dedication to maintaining peace and order, as well as his efforts to combat illegal drugs and other criminal activities.
“This award is not just a recognition of my personal achievements, but a testament to the hard work and sacrifices of the men and women of the Philippine National Police who tirelessly work to maintain peace and order in our communities,” Azurin said.
The event had the theme of “PMA Cavaliers: Sama-Sama sa Pag-unlad sa kabila ng Pandemya at Kalamidad,” emphasizing the importance of unity and cooperation amid the challenges posed by the pandemic and calamities.
Other distinguished alumni were also recognized for their exceptional contributions to their respective fields during the event.
PMAAAI Chairman and CEO Vidal Querol, conferred the prestigious recognition to the awardees, emphasizing the importance of recognizing outstanding alumni for their contributions to society.
The event highlighted the continued commitment of PMA alumni to the development and progress of the country, even amid challenging times. (PNA)