BAGUIO CITY — Two top police officials were among the 11 recipients of the Cavalier Award in this year’s Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Alumni Homecoming at Fort del Pilar on Saturday.
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde and National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) head, Director Guillermo Eleazar received the award, which is the highest recognition given by the PMA Alumni Association, Inc. (PMAAAI) to an alumnus or alumna with outstanding achievements in their respective fields.
Albayalde, a member of the Sinagtala Class 1986, was awarded for his command and administration as NCRPO head and for his drive to cleanse the ranks of the PNP as its head.
The PMAAAI said that Albayalde’s strict implementation of practical programs for crime prevention and suppression, intensified campaign against illegal drugs, and internal cleansing of NCRPO’s ranks proved to be a solution to the worsening crime situation in Metro Manila.
Albayalde became the chief of the 190,000-strong PNP in April 2018.
“As PNP Chief, he focused his leadership on achieving a truly disciplined organization while implementing a massive internal cleansing program anchored on firm discipline and respect for oneself and the public,” the PMA added.
Albayalde accepted the award with his wife, as he expressed gratitude to the PMAAAI for the prestigious award.
“This is the most coveted award actually because not all graduates of PMA are given this award. So if you receive one, of course you feel proud of yourself and you share it with your family,” Albayalde told reporters
Albayalde’s accomplishments as a seasoned police official were highlighted by the PMAAAI.
Albayalde received 58 awards and decorations, which bore witness to his outstanding performance in his assignments – including a Gold Cross666 Medal, a PNP Outstanding Achievement Award and three PNP Heroism Medals, among others.
Meanwhile, Eleazar of Hinirang Class of 1987 was awarded for Police Operations for his efforts against illegal drugs and organized crime as then district director of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD).
The PMAAAI cited Eleazar, who pushed for a relentless drive against illegal drugs and other forms of criminality in Quezon City that netted big criminal groups later on.
By late 2017, QCPD was chosen as the Most Trusted Police District based on surveys conducted by the National Police Commission (Napolcom).
“Working quickly and precisely, the NCRPO immediately won awards in the PNP Anniversary – one for being the best region in the war against illegal drugs, another as best region in internal cleansing,” t5he PMAAAI said.
“As part of Team NCRPO since July 2016, the region experienced a 54 percent index crime reduction for the first 30 months of this administration (Jul 2016 – Dec 2018) versus the last 30 months of the previous administration (Jan 2014 – Jun 2016); and 21 percent crime drop in 2018 from 2017,” the PMAAAI added.
Eleazar expressed elation over the award.
“I would like to thank the PMA Alumni Association Inc. This Cavalier Award is something every PMA graduate dreams of getting. This wll serve an inspiration for me. In my remaining years in the service, I will continue to faithfully serve the public,” the NCRPO told reporters.
Metro Manila’s top cop also stressed that he will continue to live by the ideals of the PMA even after retiring from the service, adding that he will not get the award if not for the help of his colleagues in the institution.
Aside from Albayalde and Eleazar, nine other PMA alumni had received the Cavalier Award.
They were Cavalier for Coast Guard Operations Ronnie Gil Gavan, of PMA Maalab Class of 1993; Cavalier for Special Operations Harold Nemeño, of PMA Masikhay Class of 1999; Cavalier for Naval Operations Gilbert Villareal Jr., of PMA Masinag Class of 1998; Cavalier for Army Operations Ramon Flores, of PMA Bantay Laya Class of 1994; Cavalier for Air Operations Rolando Conrad Peña III, of PMA Kalasag Lahi Class of 1997; Cavalier for Alumni Affairs Leo Angelo Diel Leuterio, of PMA Maringal Class of 1988; Cavalier for Special Field Jesus Lomeda Jr., of PMA Mapitagan Class of 1980; Cavalier for Public Administration Fernando Mesa, of PMA Makabayan Class of 1975; and Cavalier for Private Enterprise Louie Ticman, of PMA Magilas Class of 1976.
Department of Environment and Natural Respurces (DENR) Secretary Roy C. Cimatu served as the ceremony’s guest of honor.
Other top military and police officials who attended the alumni homecoming were PMAAAI Chairman Cavalier Jaime delos Santos, PMAAAI President Cavalier Rodolfo Sazurin Jr., Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr., Philippine Army chief, Lt. Gen. Macairog Alberto; Philippine Air Force chief, Lt. Gen. Rozzano Briguez; and Philippine Navy Flag Officer in Command, Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad.
PMA spokesman Lt. Col. Harry Baliaga said a total of 2,000 alumni with 4,000 companions attended the event .
The PMA Class of 1959 was cited as Diamond Jubilarians, the Class of 1969 as Golden Jubilarians, and the Class of 1994 as the Silver Jubilarians.
Meanwhile, all the PMA Classes ending in 4 and 9 were made the host class – with the Class of 1989 as the lead host class. (PNA) By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan