Filipinos weighed in on the meaning of the Commendation Medal that was given to Police Officer 1 William Cristobal after a Chinese student threw a cup of “taho” or soybean curd drink at him at the Metro Rail Transit’s Boni Avenue Station.
Philippine National Police Director General Oscar Albayalde on February 11, Monday conferred Cristobal with the “Medalya ng Papuri” at their flag ceremony at the PNP headquarters Camp Crame.
Albayalde remarked that the medal was given to commend the police officer for his perseverance and patience in that situation where Jiale Zhang assaulted him.
“Ang pinarangalan natin dito one commendable act, na worthy of emulation by other PNP officers. Especially so ‘yung mga nandiyan. Pinakita niya ang kanyang tiyaga at pasensya na kailangan ng ating mga kapulisan,” the top cop said.
The conferment of the medal was both questioned and lauded by Filipinos on social media.
Some found the initiative “whimsical and arbitrary” while there were those who recognized Cristobal’s display of “self-restraint” in the situation.
Aren’t we supposed to reserve recognition and awards for much more heroic actions?
It’s commendable that he maintained his cool during the incident, but that alone isn’t worthy of a medal.
How much more whimsical and arbitrary will the PNP’s standards become in the future? https://t.co/L0nplugBuB
— K (@Legally_K) February 11, 2019
PNP Commendation Medal is given to a member of PNP who demonstrated exemplary efficiency, devotion and loyalty to their duty assignments (DILG, MC No. 93-018)
Manong Pulis' act of self-restraint, staying calm and not using unecessary force to counter the behaviour + https://t.co/AY3S9V1snl
— Matt (@mattondap) February 11, 2019
For ‘efficiency, devotion and loyalty to duty’
Under Section 69 of the Republic Act 6975 and the National Police Commission’s Memorandum Circular 93-108, members of the PNP, quasi-police forces and civilian volunteers may receive awards for outstanding performances.
The award is given to “promote the spirit of heroism, dedication, hard work, devotion to duty and commitment to public service among the personnel of the Philippine National Police.”
The PNP’s awards fall under three categories—the Operational Awards, Administrative Awards and the Miscellaneous Awards.
The Operational Awards recognize exemplary performance committed in the line of duty.
The Commendation Medal, also known as the “Medalya ng Papuri,” is categorized under this award.
It is given to any member of the police force who has “demonstrated exemplary efficiency, devotion and loyalty to their duty assignments.”
The Commendation Medal is also given to those who are recognized for their “minor administrative accomplishments not warranting the Medalya ng Kagalingan.”
The “Medalya ng Kagalingan” or the PNP Merit Medal, on the other hand, is awarded to those who have demonstrated a “single act of heroism or series of heroic acts in a duty.”
Other honored policemen
Other individuals who recently received the Commendation Medal are the six personnel of the Cauayan Municipal Police Station in 2017 who were recognized for their services during a robbery hold-up.
They survived an ambush attack that was initiated by around 30 or so armed men.
Recipients of the medal are then Chief Inspector Gary Alan Resuma, SPO1 Jeorge Anthony Lorenton, PO3 Turk Libo-on, PO2 Thom Amable Mamigo, PO1s John Mabayag and Sunny Boy Llena.
Eighteen policemen in Bacolod City in 2018 who offered their support in a “hot pursuit operation” that killed high-profile drug personalities in the region were also commended.
Latest recipients of the “Medal ng Papuri” are the policemen assigned to provide security coverage in Isabela City, Basilan and Bongao, Tawi-Tawi for the Bangsamoro Organic Law plebiscite on Jan. 1, 2019.