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PNP to honor woman officer who beat off rebel attack

By: - Reporter / @deejayapINQ
/ 04:58 PM August 06, 2011

Senior Inspector Charity Galvez recounting to reporters the attack by NPA rebels on her station last month. Contributed Photo

MANILA, Philippines—Long considered a bastion of machismo, the Philippine National Police  celebrates its 110th year on Monday by honoring a mother with more fire and heart than many of her testosterone-filled colleagues.

Senior Inspector Charity Galvez, chief of police of Trento town in Agusan Del Sur and a former schoolteacher, leads the honorees at the police service’s anniversary in the PNP headquarters at Camp Crame in Quezon City, officials said.

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President Benigno Aquino will bestow on Galvez the PNP Medalya ng Katapangan (Bravery Medal) for her “conspicuous courage and gallantry in action” when she led a handful of her men in pushing back some 250 communist New People’s Army insurgents last July.

After making sure her baby and its nanny were safe, the 39-year-old policewoman and 30 of her men fought back and repelled the NPA dissidents, who went on a shooting and looting rampage.

When the hour-long  battle was over, two civilians lay dead and three others, including two lawmen, were wounded, officials said.

A resident of San Francisco town, also in Agusan del Sur, Galvez became Trento’s top cop after just over a year. She became a junior police officer through the PNP’s lateral entry program in 2008.

“I joined the force in the early 2000s after seven years of teaching at the Father Saturnino Urios University in Butuan. I also studied criminology while making my way in the service and passed the licensure examination and became a criminologist,” she said in an earlier Inquirer interview.

Galvez has one child with her husband, an employee of a water utility company in San Francisco.

Her achievement gives a new female face to the PNP, a traditionally male-dominated institution.

Only one in every 750 police is a woman out of the 140,000-strong police force, PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr. said.

“I am looking forward to the opportunity of personally extending my commendation to (Senior) Inspector Galvez and her men for the courageous defense of their town,” PNP Director General Raul M. Bacalzo said in an earlier statement.

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Also expected to grace the event is Interior Secretary Jesse M. Robredo.

August 8 is celebrated as the anniversary of the police service in commemoration of the founding on August 8, 1901 of the defunct Philippine Constabulary, the forerunner of the PNP.

In 1991, the PNP was separated from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and became a civilian law enforcement agency under the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

Aside from Galvez, another Bravery Medal recipient is Chief Inspector Allan B. Umipig, chief of the District Intelligence Operation Unit of the Southern Police District, who figured in an encounter with armed robbers in Sucat, Parañaque City in June. Three suspects were killed in the incident.

President Aquino will also award posthumous promotions to the respective widows of Senior Police Officer 2 Ricky O. Agwit and SPO2 Jeff E. Domingo, both of the Ifugao provincial police office who perished in a landslide on a rescue mission at the height of Tropical Storm Juaning in the Cordilleras on July 27.

The two police officers will be promoted to SPO3 in recognition of their selfless sacrifice, officials said.

Aquino will also present the “Presidential Streamer Award” to the Police Regional Office- Cordillera as Police Regional Office of the Year.

Robredo will present the National Police Commission Streamer Award to the Headquarters Support Service as the National Administrative Support Unit of the Year.

The PNP’s elite squad, the Special Action Force, will be presented with the Chief PNP Streamer Award as the National Operational Support Unit of the Year.

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