Amid bad press for Caloocan police, slain cop earns praise
Practically the entire Caloocan City police force was sacked last week due to a spate of controversies, but one officer received high praise—albeit after losing his life in the war on drugs.
SPO1 Junior Hilario not only received a medal from President Duterte but was also given a hero’s burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani on Thursday.
Hilario, 36, was shot dead by a suspected drug pusher and contract killer during a Sept. 8 operation in Barangay 175, Caloocan. The suspect, Jason de la Cruz, was also killed in the operation.
“We know he would not ask for (such honors) but we are very proud and happy. He deserved it. It was his dream to be a policeman and he dedicated his life to service,” Hilario’s younger sister Jovilyn Pasamonte said.
“His death is one proof that drug suspects really fight back,” Pasamonte told the Inquirer.
Three days before the burial, the President visited Hilario’s wake to award him the Order of Lapu-Lapu Kalasag Medal.
The posthumous recognition was for the officer’s “extraordinary service” and “exceptional contributions” to the antidrug campaign.
Duterte, who was accompanied by National Capital Region Police Office Director Oscar Albayalde, gave the medal to Hilario’s 6-year-old son JunGil.
“What do you want to become?” the President asked the boy. “A policeman,” JunGil replied.
“’Wag ka na magpulis. Mag-abogado ka na lang. Dalawa na kayong pulis (Don’t be a policeman, Be a lawyer instead. There would be two cops in the family),” Duterte told the child.
A Police Officer 3 when he was killed, Hilario was also promoted posthumously to the next rank.
Mayor Oscar Malapitan has extended a P50,000 financial assistance to Hilario’s family and offered a part-time job to his other son, David, a criminology student, under the Caloocan Police District Public Safety Battalion.
The President also assured the family that the Philippine National Police would shoulder JunGil’s education up to college.
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