Police officers spend time away from family to keep public safe on Christmas
Cebu City, Philippines — Police Lieutenant Eddie Ric Yarag smoothened his uniform as he prepared to line up for a special ceremony.
It is Tuesday, December 24, the day before Christmas.
But Yarag, 42, is not at home in San Juan, Siquijor with his wife and his two children.
Instead, he is in Cebu City for a special mission: to make sure that the public is safe to celebrate the holiday season.
It is what Yarag referred to as “call of duty,” which he has taken into heart since he became a member of the police force in 2007.
“Naa man ta ginatawag nga (We have what we call) duty first before pleasure. That is why we are here to render our services to the community,” said Yarag.
For Patrolwoman Antonieta Cadeliña of Dumaguete City, spending Christmas away from the family comes with the job.
The 24-year-old policewoman says this is her second year to celebrate Christmas away from her family.
But she is not sad.
She has learned to be excited about it because she is able to serve the community.
Addressing her family back in Dumaguete, she said: “Amping lang mo pirmi. Even though layo ko, pero akong heart duo ra sa inyoha.”
(Take care always. Even though I am far from you, my heart is always with you.)
Yarag and Cadeliña are two of the 648 police officers who were deployed to their assigned areas on Tuesday morning, December 24, to serve as additional force to secure the public for the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.
Police Brigadier General Valeriano De Leon, director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), gave a strong marching order to the police officers: to ensure the safety of the public.
The police officers, who come from different stations in Central Visayas, were assigned to stations in Cebu City this holiday season.
In his speech, De Leon emphasized that the presence of the police force is the best gift that they can offer to the community.
He said the police presence is important on these days as they are instrumental in maintaining the peace and order situation in the community and to ensure that the public’s Christmas celebration will be both joyous and safe.
De Leon said the holiday season is the time of the year when the police officers’ service as public servants is most needed.
With the police presence felt in the community, De Leon said criminals will be discouraged to carry out their devious plans which ruin the joyous occasion.
As storm signal number is raised over Cebu City, De Leon said police officers are given a challenge to maintain peace and order while responding to emergency situations. / celr
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