SILANG, Cavite (Mabuhay) – The Mamasapano tragedy did not dampen the spirits of the graduating cadets of the Philippine National Police academy, instead it inspired them to pursue a career as public safety officers.
In a graduation speech on Thursday, the top cadet of the PNPA Lakandula class of 2015 First Class Dennis Monroid Yuson Jr. admitted that the clash challenged their will to continue their path as policemen.
“Sa pagsasakripisyo ng SAF 44, lalong lalo na sa aming anim na upperclassmen, ay lubos kaming nalungkot subalit hindi kami pinanghinaan ng loob na ipagpatuloy ang pinili naming propesyon,” Yuson said in his valedictory address at the PNPA home in Camp Gen. Mariano Castañeda in Cavite.
Six of the 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos who died in a bloody gunfight in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province were PNPA graduates, including the class baron on class 2009 Chief Inspector John Gary Erana.
Despite threats to derail the peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the class valedictorian, who hails from General Santos City, said that the tragedy should not affect the country’s desire for peace.
“Malapit man sa peligro, hindi takot ang nanaig sa amin kundi ang pagaalab na magsisilbi sa bayan. Ang trahedyang ito ay hindi magiging hadlang sa hangaring makamit natin ang kapayapaan,” he said.
The 23-year-old police inspector pointed out that resorting to violent means and armed conflicts will not help the country in attaining peace.
“Ito ay ipinaglalaban ngunit hindi sa labanang armado bagkus isinusulong sa usaping pangkapayapaan,” he said.
Before joining the police academy, Yuson, a son of a Police Inspector assigned in Sultan Kudarat, took up Education major in Mathematics and graduated Magna Cum Laude.
Aside from Yuson, 245 cadets will be commissioned as police inspectors. Majority of the graduates will serve at the Philippine National Police while others will be assigned at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and Bureau of Fire Protection.
While President Benigno Aquino III’s response to the Mamasapano debacle is drawing flak, Yuson, as a class leader, said he looks up to Aquino as a true model of integrity and outstanding public service.
“Sa tuwing may mga pagsubok na nakaatang sa akin bilang class president ay isang tao rin ang aking tinitingala pagdating sa tatag ng paninindigan sa ngalan ng tapat na serbisyo publiko. Walang iba kundi ang ating pinakamamahal na pangulo, Benigno S. Aquino III,” he said.
“Kayo po ang aming lider, ang aming gabay, na maghahatid sa amin at sa bana tungo sa isang mapayapa at maunlad na kinabuksan,” he added.
Yuson received six awards including the highest PNPA award, Presidential Kampilan, President, PPSC Kampilan, Chief, PNP Kampilan, Plaque of Merit as the class’ Top 1, Best in Public Safety and Best in Thesis. (MNS)