Lapu-Lapu cops play Santa to indigent families
WHEN Saturnina Saure, 65, saw a group of policemen in full uniform enter her community in Sitio Kitchen, Barangay Pajo in Lapu-Lapu City yesterday morning, she immediately thought they were there to arrest someone.
To her surprise, the cops stopped in front of her shanty and began to sing a Christmas carol. And then came the bigger surprise: They gave her a gift pack of rice, canned goods and instant noddles.
“Nalipay kaayo ko nga ilang gidaygonan ug sila pa gyud ang nihatag namo. Abi man nako ug dunay dakpon pagkakita namo nila,” said Saure.
(I was very happy they sang a carol at my house and even gave us a gift. I really thought they came to arrest somebody the moment we saw them.)
The team of cops was from the Police Community Relations (PCR) unit of the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office (LCPO).
Yesterday was the start of their weeklong Christmas caroling project where, instead of getting gifts, the policemen were the ones who brought the goodies to indigent households in the city.
The LCPO-PCR personnel led by Supt. Regie Real spent Tuesday morning bringing Christmas songs and holiday cheers to 50 households in Sitio Kitchen. In the afternoon, they continued the caroling in Barangay Punta Engaño, playing Santa Claus to 20 poor families.
Real told Cebu Daily News that they composed two Cebuano Christmas songs and practiced until they got it right before they sang it to their happy and grateful beneficiaries. They softened the impact of being in full police uniform by donning Santa hats and by wearing huge smiles on their faces as they handed their gift packs. They also had candies that they handed out to children they met along the way.
Share the blessings
Real said they have been doing the Christmas caroling project for the last three years, using funds that the city’s policemen themselves donated. They bought the goods and repacked them.
According to Real, they will be going to different areas next, targeting around 60 households per day, until Monday next week.
“Ginawa natin ito para mag-share ng blessings sa mga less fortunate na mga tao at sinisikap natin na mapalapit sa mga tao dahil malaki ang tulong ng community sa gawain ng pulis lalo na sa pagpapatupad ng batas,” added Real.
(We do this to share our blessings to the less fortunate and we are doing this to get closer to the people because the community has an important role in helping the police enforce the law).
PO3 Wilfredo Ybañez, a PCR personnel, said that doing this activity for the past three Christmases has given him a reason to be happy and to be grateful that he is a policeman, specially when the recipients would turn teary-eyed as they expressed their thanks to the police.
“Dili lang ang among pagserbisyo isip police ang among mahatag nila pero apil sab ang mga grasya nga among nadawat mapaambit ngadto nila (We do not only serve them as policemen but we also share our blessings with them),” said Ybañez.
Senior Supt. Rommel Cabagnot, LCPO director, said he was proud of the PCR for this undertaking.
Other police stations in the city also conducted gift-giving projects in the communities in their area of jurisdiction based on Cabagnot’s directive for LCPO units to get closer to the people and communities they serve.
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