Cebu News

Cops shave heads

Grace Melanie L. Lacamiento - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Police Officer 2 Sheryl Guanco showed no hesitation in having her head shaved to show sympathy for the 44 Philippine National Police–Special Action Force troops who were slain in the operation against a terrorist in Maguindanao.

Guanco is assigned to the Women’s and Children’s Protection Desk of the Fuente Police Station.

Guanco and five other female cops voluntarily joined the 76 police personnel from the Fuente Police Station who had their heads shaved as a way to mourn the deaths of their comrades who were killed in Maguindanao.

The first batch of 40 policemen had their heads shaved in the morning while the rest followed in the afternoon until last night.

Guanco did not express worry over having her head shaved, saying that it will soon grow over time.

“Okay ra na. Motubo ra man ang buhok,” she said.

It was not the first time for the 30-year-old policewoman to have her head shaved; in 2010 she sported the same cut during their scout training. She shared that before she entered the profession, she used to have long hair that reached her back.

Fuente Police Station chief, Chief Inspector Wildemar Tiu encouraged policemen from other stations to do the same to show support for their comrades.

He said that he received a message from their Philippine National Police Academy Class 2003-Sambigkis Class president Chief Inspector Dexter Versola, informing Tiu of a simultaneous cutting of their hair across the country as a sign of sympathy for their fallen brethren.

The PNP-SAF was the mother unit of Tiu when he started his career as a policeman.

“It has been a part of the SAF trooper tradition that if the director of SAF cuts his hair down the line, we will also do the same. That’s how strong the solidarity, camaraderie and unity of PNP-SAF is,” he said.

When Tiu told his personnel at the station they volunteered to have their heads shaved as well.

“It’s hard to give up your hair unya magpaupaw ka. I did not require them. They volunteered,” he said, adding that it has been seven years since he sported such a cut.

Tiu also said that shaving their heads is not just to show sympathy for the SAF members and their grieving widows and children but also to call for justice.

“This is to send a message that there should be justice given to them – to arrest them or by force, to get all those people responsible for their death. They are there in order to save lives of the Filipino and international communities,” he said.

Now that bomb maker and high-profile terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias “Marwan”, was confirmed dead, Tiu said that the courageous act of the slain SAF members saved thousands of civilians.

“What they did was to risk their lives so the public can sleep peacefully,” he said.

While they have not received any reports that Central Visayas is one of the targets for Marwan’s bombing activities, Regional Intelligence Division chief, Superintendent Paul Labra said they still do not discount the possibility of possible retaliation from the terrorists associated with Marwan.

He clarified that the chance of probable terrorist attacks in the region is very remote but added that they have intensified their target hardening measures among their respective units and vital installations.

“Ang inyohang pulis are always taking that into consideration, making ourselves ready for any attempt even if without any information received,” he said.

Police Regional Office–7 deputy director for operations and Cebu City Police Office officer-in-charge Senior Superintendent Conrad Capa also warned the public to be vigilant against any suspicious activities especially from those who are new in their area and to immediately report to the authorities.

He cited that the law enforcers maintain a good relationship with the Muslim and Christian communities in the region who prefer to preserve peace and order.

Capa also said they are elated to know that Marwan was confirmed dead although it came with a heavy price —the death of 44 elite cops.

 “Natutuwa naman kami that Marwan is dead. At least one terrorist down. Consolation na si Marwan yun, mas masakit kung hindi siya,” he said. —/BRP (FREEMAN)


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