MANILA - The valedictorian of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) Class 2014 said he wants to change the public image of cops from being frightening to being friendly and approachable.
In an interview on radio dzMM's "Sakto" on Tuesday, PNPA valedictorian Inspector Glenn Tabo Sentelices said he wants to remove the people's fear of police.
He said children most especially should not be afraid of them.
"Ipagpapatuloy lang po namin yung program po ni [PNP Chief] General [Alan] Purisima na yung pulis po na madaling lapitan, yung approachable. Kasi paano kami makakabagbigay ng serbisyo sa mga tao kung sila po ay natatakot sa amin at di makalapit sa amin?" he said.
Sentelices, who hails from Catanduanes, was inspired to become a policeman because of his father, who is also a cop.
He said he was always fond of wearing his father's police uniform when he was still a child.
But growing up, the 25-year-old police academy topnotcher also had another dream -- which was to become a priest.
"Nag-seminaryo po ako, bale 4 years po. Kasi nung bata rin po ako nagseserve din po ako sa simbahan po namin so naisipan ko rin pong pumasok sa seminaryo," he said.
But eventually, Sentelices still decided to enter the PNPA and put to heart his education there.
Life at the police academy was hard, he said. He noted that apart from enduring physical training, they also had to work hard for their academic classes.
"Kasi papaano po kami magpapatupad ng batas kung yung batas ay hindi po namin alam?" he said.
Sentelices is currently on a one-month vacation before his and the other new graduates' assignments will be announced in Camp Crame.
A PNPA graduate may be assigned to the PNP, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), or the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP). Their assignments will be decided via draw lots.
Meanwhile, the PNPA valedictorian has a piece of advice to the youth who also want to serve the country.
"Sa mga kabataang gusto ding magsilbi sa bayan, ito (PNPA) po yung pagkakataon po para magawa po natin yun," Sentelices said.