Policewoman sad for leaving CCPO, but happy to head home to family
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Police Corporal Kerstien Mae Cledera, 34, from Hinunangan town, Southern Leyte, shed tears of joy and sadness when she learned about being reassigned to a police station in her hometown and leaving the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO).
Cledera is one of the recipients of the Localization of Assignment program of policemen and policewomen, which was initiated by Police General Camilo Pancratius Cascolan, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief.
The localization program allows police personnel to be reassigned to police stations in or nearer to their hometowns.
Cledera, a mother of two children, is one of the 76 police personnel from the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) to be reassigned to her province in Southern Leyte.
Chance to go home
She said her tears of joy were for the excitement she felt to finally get home after working for nine years as a member of the CCPO, and this time, she would have more time to spend with her family especially her two sons, whose ages are 11 and 8.
“Nalipay ko kay at least maka amoma na gyud ko sa akong mga anak. For nine years nako nagserbisyo diri sa Cebu City, wala gyud ko nakasulay pag amoma sa akong duha ka anak nga naa tawon sa Leyte… Sobrang kalipay nako aning programa mi Chief PNP,” said Cledera.
(I am happy because I can now experience caring for my children. I have served Cebu City for nine years and I have not experienced taking care of my children who are in Leyte. I am so happy for the PNP chief’s program.)
Cledera, who is currently assigned in the Pardo Police Station, said that her parents had since been taking care of her sons because she could not properly spend time with them due to the nature of her work.
Chance for policewoman to be a parent
For Cledera, the localization program of the PNP, would be an opportunity for her to make up for all the times she had missed as a parent when her kids were growing up.
Cledera is also one of the 76 personnel from PRO-7 who will be reassigned to her province in Southern Leyte because of the localization program.
The policewoman said the nine years away from her family was hard for her part especially since she could not immediately and easily make time to go home.
She said she had to make do with calls and video calls to check on how her family was doing at home.
But with the localization program, she would now be nearer to her family.
The Localization of Assignment program was launched on October 14 with the sendoff of the first batch of police officers to be reassigned nearer to their hometowns.
PNP Chief Cascolan delivered a speech at Camp Crame, which was streamed live at the PRO-7 headquarters, for the sendoff of the first batch of officers, who availed of the program.
Cascolan said in his speech that only those police officers, who had served three to five years in areas where they were recruited could avail of the program.
Ferro backs program
In the case of the PRO-7, the 76 police personnel, who were sent off in the morning of Oct. 14, 23 of them would be heading back to PRO-8; 18 to Mindanao; 10 to Cagayan de Oro; 4 to Cordillera; while others would head to Davao; Region 5; and Region 6.
Police Brigadier General Albert Ignatius Ferro assured that 34 police personnel would also be reassigned to Cebu to help fill up the posts left by the reassigned police officers.
Ferro said that the other 42 posts would be filled up by the newly recruited policemen and policewomen.
He said that the non-commissioned officers would be given priority in the localization program.
“We have to advocate family solidarity. I do support such move. It inculcates the nine-point thrust of our PNP Chief and that includes taking care of the welfare of the family. It is one of my traits that were taught in the Philippine Military Academy and defunct Philippine Constabulary that we should look after our people,” said Ferro.
For Cledera, being assigned nearer to her family would give her a chance to attend to her children’s schooling and their school activities, which is one of the wishes of one of her sons.
“Mo ingon gyud intawn akong kina-maguwangan: ‘Kanusa kaha ko makasuway nga naa koy family no? Nga naa koy mama nga mo attend sa ‘family day’. Wala gyud tawun siya kasuway,” said the policewoman.
(My eldest son told me: When can I experience having my family here? That my mother can attend the ‘family day’. I have not experienced that yet.)
Her sons were also excited when she told them about her reassignment last week and that they were beside themselves and kept asking when she would arrive home.
“Akong anak karon sigeg panawag kung na abot na ba daw ko sa pier,” said Cledera.
(My children have called me now asking me if I have arrived at the pier.)
Leaving, Moving forward
Despite her excitement and eagerness to go back home, she also felt sad because she would also be leaving behind some colleagues, who turned out to be her real life friends, relationships that she had nurtured for nine years.
“Kahilakon usab ko kay syempre nagdugay man pud diri,” said Cledera.
(I feel like crying because, of course, I have been working here for quite a while.)
She, however said that life would go on and she would be carrying these people in her heart.
And with that note, Cledera managed to smile as she thought about her family that she would soon meet and spend more time with.
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