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Ex-Arroyo aide one of 10 outstanding policewomen

Chief Insp. Claire Cudal with well-wishers after being recognized one of the 10 Outstanding Policewomen of the Philippines.
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines -- An officer who served as aide-de-camp to former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is among the 10 outstanding policewomen of the Philippines who were recognized in awarding ceremonies at Camp Crame, Quezon City on Thursday.

Chief Inspector Claire Cudal, now the police community precinct commander of Don Bosco in Tondo, Manila, was recognized for her efforts in maintaining peace and order in an area she called a "hoodlum lair."

Cudal, the only woman PCP commander in Manila, said she has had to work 24/7 because she has no deputy.

A mother of two, Cudal's husband is an overseas Filipino worker and she said she has had to work hard to balance her duty as a police officer and her role as a mother.

Despite this, there has been a decrease in robberies and an increase in illegal firearms and drug apprehensions in the 27 Tondo barangays covered by her precinct.

Cudal finished third in the “Magilas” class of 2000 at the Philippine National Police Academy.

The next year, she was assigned to be Arroyo’s aide, a post she held for a year.

"Gawin natin ang trabaho natin. ‘Pag ginawa natin trabaho natin, huwag natin iisipin na bibigyan ng parangal. Isipin natin na mas maganda kung meron tayong matutulungan (Let’s do our jobs. When we do our jobs, let us not think of the honors we may reap. Let us think that it is good to be able to help others)," Cudal said.

Established in 2001, the TOPWP recognizes and honors policewomen who have shown exceptional performance in the different fields of police work.

Also earning the honor is Senior Inspector Charity Galvez, who, as police chief of Trento, Agusan del Sur, led her men in repulsing around 200 New People's Army guerrillas who attacked their station last year.

The other awardees are:

  • Supt. Mary Leocy Mag-abo - provincial chief of the Crime Laboratory in Lanao del Norte
  • Sr. Insp. Arlene Abastillas - station commander of Station 2, Baguio City police
  • Sr. Insp. Cheryll Balderama, chief of the Women and Children Protection Desk (WCPD), Lanao del Norte police
  • Sr. Insp. Maria Theresa Macatangay - Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force, Regional Intelligence Division of Police Regional Office 7
  • SPO3 Rhia Sotomil - WCPD desk, Pavia police station, Iloilo
  • SPO1 Geraldine Oriondo - chief admin, WCPD, Nasugbu, Batangas
  • PO3 Rochelle Bakingkito - investigation division, Maritime Group
  • PO2 Liza Maldo - Police Community Relations, General Santos City police

Interior Undersecretary for Local Government Austere Panadero said it was high time to put the spotlight on the country's policewomen.

"Laging pinagtutuunan ng pansin ang mga lalaking pulis at tila naisasantabi ang mga kahanga-hangang ginagawa ng mga babaeng pulis. Marahil dahil sa ang PNP ay isang organisasyon na mas marami ang lalaki, di natin pansin ang mga kababaihan na tapat ring maglingkod (We always notice the policemen and seem to overlook the outstanding achievements of policewomen. Perhaps it is because the PNP is an organization where men are in the majority, which is why we barely notice the women who serve faithfully)," Panadero said.