THE rookie police officer from the Central Visayas Regional Public Safety Batallion who shot dead a robber while he was off-duty received an award from the Police Regional Office (PRO) on Tuesday.
Chief Superintendent Noli Taliño, the PRO director, pinned the Medalya ng Kagalingan (Merit Medal) on Police Officer 1 (PO1) Jilbert Cabajar for neutralizing Ryan Flores, who was caught grabbing the bag of the manager of a clothing store on Colon St. last Aug. 24.
Taliño also awarded the same medals to PO1 Ronnie Genardino and PO1 Roger Bejer of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) for arresting two suspected thieves on the same day.
The three officers were also given cash rewards from private individuals. The amount was not disclosed to the media.
[READ: Off-duty cop foils robbery in busy Colon Street]
Cabajar, in an interview, said he is glad to receive the award.
“Trabahoon lang gyod ang angay trabahoon sa usa ka polis (A police officer should do what a police officer ought to do),” he said.
Before the encounter with Flores, Cabajar was on board a jeepney with PO3 Awing Tabayag. They disembarked after they noticed a commotion.
Flores shot his victim twice, after the latter refused to hand the bag to him. This prompted Cabajar to shoot the suspect several times.
Meanwhile, the five Mahindra patrol cars were distributed to the Parian Police Station, Fuente Police Station, Waterfront Police Station, Mabolo Police Station and Carbon Police Station.
Ten M4 automatic rifles, magazines and bullets were also given to the Special Weapons and Tactics (Swat) team of the CCPO.
The vehicles and the firearms all came from Camp Crame.
Taliño said the vehicles can help police operatives with their mobility, specifically in anti-illegal drugs operations.
SPO4 Victorio Durante, Swat operative, said their morale is high because of the new weapons. He said they still need new bulletproof vests, among others, but he knows their superiors are looking after their welfare.