MANILA - A domestic helper's son and cadet from Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental topped the 106-member graduating Maragtas Class of 2018 of the Philippine National Police Academy.
Police Cadet Fritz John Vallador said his passion to help and serve the Filipino people drove him to enter the police academy in Silang, Cavite.
"'Yung inspirasyon ko sa loob ay ang pangarap ko sa labas na ako ay maging isang mabuting alagad ng batas," Vallador told reporters in Monday's press briefing with PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa at Camp Crame.
"Kami po ay magsisilbi ng tapat kahit buhay namin ang kapalit," he added.
Vallador's mother works as a domestic helper in Spain. He has not met his father his whole life.
"Meron naman pong tumayong bagong papa sa akin, kaya it's just normal. Kahit na wala akong tatay, nandito ako sa harapan n'yo, nagsumikap at naabot ko ang tugatog ng tagumpay na ito," he said.
He added: "I'm saddened na hindi makakarating ang aking ina, pero nagpaliwanag naman siya sa akin. Yung tita ko, na nagtayong nanay ko simula grade 5 ako, siya ang maghahalili muna."
The cadet said their class name "Maragtas" stands for Mga Magigiting at Responsableng Alagad ng Batas na Gagabay tungo sa Transpormasyong Alay sa Bayan.
Vallador will receive the Presidential Kampilan Award and Plaque of Merit from President Rodrigo Duterte.
Two female cadets are among this year's top 10 graduates of the PNPA.
Police Cadet Cherry Mae Montaño from General Santos City said it has been her dream to become part of an organization that ensures public safety.
"The academy became an avenue for us to develop our skills and competence. Sa labas, ang tingin ng iba ay di kaya ng babae ang ginagawa ng lalaki, but the 2 of us proved na we can still excel in a profession dominated by men," Montaño said.
Other top graduates are:
- Police Cadet Francis Pang-ay of Sadanga, Mt. Province
- Police Cadet Jess Agustin of Kabayan, Benguet
- Police Cadet Jesstony Asanion of Sta. Cruz, Zambales
- Fire Cadet Myrick Paldingan of Mankayan, Benguet
- Police Cadet Christian Juego of Dasmariñas, Cavite
- Police Cadet Stephen Abrica of Cebu City
- Jail Cadet Arjay Cuasay of Parañaque City
- Police Cadet Maricar Ansus of Sorsogon City
The PNPA Maragtas Class of 2018 will be appointed as commissioned officers in their respective service bureaus upon graduation on March 21, 2018.