By Arwen Pascua

MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) officially lighted the lanterns and Christmas tree in Camp Crame, Quezon City on Wednesday as the whole police force joins the nation in celebration of the yuletide season.

PNP Chief Police General Dionardo B Carlos led the countdown and traditional ceremonial lighting in front of the National Headquarters Building during a short program which was attended by members of Command and Directorial Staff and PNP Personnel.

“With the world shifting to the new normal and as we find an array of advanced methods being integrated into the celebration of this festive year, let us remember that whatever challenges life has brought to our lives, it doesn’t prevent us from making this Christmas a merry and meaningful one by bringing new hope, positivity, and solutions to worries and uncertainties”, PNP Chief Carlos said in his message.

According to PNP Chief Carlos, the switching of decorative lights this evening is also a time to remember the people for whom it is being lit. They are the family members who will be away from home, the valiant PNP Personnel who succumbed to Covid-19 virus and those who lost their lives while performing their duty, front-liners performing peace-keeping duties and essential health care services on holiday, and the Bayanihan spirit of every Filipino during this most difficult time.

“Amidst the global effect of COVID-19 pandemic, let us not also forget that this Christmas season is reminding us that life is an ongoing progression and there will always be an opportunity for new possibilities, new beginnings, and new hope which inspire us to embrace even more fully the joy of spending time with our loved ones” Carlos added.

The highlight of the activity is the presence of their special guest, Christian Laurente Memoria, a child who is battling acute lymphocytic leukemia, a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow affecting blood cells and leading to frequent infection fever.

During the occasion, the 11-year-old Grade 5 student was given the special privilege to wear the PNP uniform, don rank of Lieutenant, and imbibe the essence, relevance, and feeling of being a police officer even for a day in line with the “Cop for a Day” program of the Police Community Affairs Development Group (PCADG) in collaboration with the Directorate for Police Community Relations (DPCR) and support of NGO partners, stakeholders, and other organized groups.

Memoria, together with his mom, personally received from PNP Chief Carlos a special advanced Christmas present to honor one of the bravest children who despite the illness and challenges he remains determined to finish his studies and make his dream come true, to become a police officer someday. (ai/mtvn)

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