2 cops from region win as country’s best

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

“TO be a police officer was my last option, but it turned out to be a very fulfilling profession,” said Insp. Arieza Velasco Otida.

Otida has been in the service for almost 15 years now.

She is chief of the pre-charge investigation section of the Investigation and Detection Management Branch (IDMB).


Together with SPO1 Ruth Violango, of the Homicide Section of the Cebu City Police Office, she was awarded as one of the Top Ten Outstanding Policewomen of the Philippines in 2012.

The two police officers each received a trophy, a plaque, P30,000 cash and a .45 pistol in an awarding ceremony held in Camp Crame last Jan. 23.

Otida and Violango were endorsed by the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 last May 2013 as candidates for the award.

The ten awardees were picked from 40 candidates nationwide.

Otida and Violango were the only winners from the Visayas.

The other awardees came from the National Capital Region and Mindanao.

The two awardees have several things in common, one of which is that they were influenced by their parents to enter the police profession.

Otida’s mother was a policewoman for 34 years while her father was a policeman for 32 years. Violango is a daughter of a former Mandaue City Police chief.

Psychology grad

Otida wanted to join the media but shifted to political science. Violango, a psychology graduate, used to dream of becoming a flight attendant.

In an interview, Otida said the award is the most fulfilling part of her career, especially that being a policewoman is a risky profession.

“It is very overwhelming that you are given recognition considering that being a policewoman requires skills,” said Otida.

She said it also encourages other women to join the police force.

“It was never in my plan to be in the police force, but my dreams suddenly shifted and it turned out to be something I can be proud of,” said Otida, who is also a wife of a policeman and a mother of four children.

Otida was formerly assigned in the investigation section of the PRO 7 before she was transferred to the IDMB.

Violango is a former beauty queen. She said her father convinced her to take the PNP exam.

“My father told me to just take the exam. If I passed, it was up to me what to do. Maybe my father knew that after passing the exam I would be encouraged to join the force,” said Violango.

Single mom

As a single mother, Violango said the award would be a legacy she can be proud to share with her six-year-old daughter.

“This is a lifetime achievement that my family could be proud of,” said Violango, who is now ten years in service.

The Top Ten Outstanding Policewoman of the Philippines was sponsored by the Zonta Club of Makati.

Since last year, the Camp Crame searched for potential candidates of the award all over the country.

Candidates come from different fields of police work, such as investigation, intelligence, administration and traffic.

Otida and Violango were informed of the award last December.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 29, 2014.

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