Kristel Mae Padasas given highest honor by Metro top cops | Inquirer News

Kristel Mae Padasas given highest honor by Metro top cops

/ 08:07 PM January 22, 2015

MANILA, Philippines – Like a policeman who died serving the country, Kristel Mae Padasas received the “highest honor” from Metro Manila’s top police officials.

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Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, National Capital Region Police Office Director Carmelo Valmoria, top NCRPO officials and all five directors of Manila, Quezon City, Northern, Eastern and Southern Police Districts paid their respects at the wake of Padasas at her residence in Hagonoy, Taguig City on Thursday.

Inside the Padasas family’s living room was Kristel’s white casket, with a picture of her smiling and a message from the humanitarian agency she volunteered for.

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With Roxas, about 16 police officials stood for a moment in front of the casket and simultaneously raised their right hands to give her a salute.

“We gave her the highest honor for uniformed personnel. All police officials here gave Mae-Mae (Kristel) a hand salute to recognize her sacrifices,” Roxas told reporters.

“If for policemen, risking their life is part of their service, for Mae-Mae, it’s not. She’s an ordinary youth who has made sacrifices for Yolanda victims and for the safety of the Pope and the people,” Roxas said.

While doing volunteer work for the Catholic Relief Services’ organizing team for Pope Francis’ visit to Tacloban City on January 17, an accident claimed Padasas’ life so soon.
Strong winds dislodged a steel scaffold, which carried heavy speakers that amplified Pope Francis’ words during Mass, and hit Kristel, killing her instantly.

Roxas and the police officials gave cash assistance of undisclosed amount to the victim’s mother, Judy, who just returned to the country from Hong Kong to mourn her only daughter’s death.

Mrs. Padasas tried to face the media but halfway through her statement, her voice broke and then she wept.

“Nagpapasalamat kami sa kanila (policemen, Roxas) dahil sa ginawa ng anak ko na isa sa mga naging biktima ng trahedya sa Tacloban ay nagbigay sila sa amin ng pakikidalamhati at pumunta pa sila dito sa amin para ipakita na sila ay…” she said.

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For Valmoria’s part, he likened Kristel’s situation to that of his fellow policemen.

“Just like Kristel Mae, most of us are directly involved in the rehabilitation efforts in Tacloban as well as the security for the papal visit that’s why we salute her,” he said.

Model student

INQUIRER.net tried to interview Kristel’s parents but they asked this reporter to respect their privacy.

But Kristel’s professor in Adamson University, Dr. Teresita Malabuyo, said the 27-year-old had received a “very beautiful gift from the Lord.”

“Imagine, millions are praying for the eternal repose of her soul. Even the Pope is praying for her,” Malabuyo told INQUIRER.net.

Malabuyo said she remembers Kristel as a “responsible, simple, humble, friendly and very cheerful” student.

A psychology graduate of Adamson, Kristel, according to her professor, was also straightforward. “That just shows how she values honesty,” she added.

Even since college, Kristel had been actively joining organizations, particularly religious groups doing volunteer work for the less fortunate.

“She’s a model student. She’s an inspiration to the Adamson community. We are really proud of her,” she added.

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TAGS: Kristel Mae Padasas, Mar Roxas, Nation, News
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