President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will present awards to outstanding officers and support units of the Philippine National Police (PNP) during its 18th anniversary celebration on Monday (Jan. 26).

The President, as the guest of honor and speaker during the occasion, will deliver a message on Monday morning at the PNP multi-purpose center in Camp Crame, Quezon City where the ceremony will be held.

Among those who will welcome the President are top officials led by Interior and Local Governments Secretary Ronaldo Puno and PNP Director- General Jesus Versoza.

Leading the awardees is rookie cop PO1 Carl Marc Jopillo who will receive the coveted Medalya ng Katapangan award for his bravery and heroism in defending the Libertad, Negros Oriental municipal police station against heavily armed New People’s Army (NPA) rebels last Nov. 2.

To be posthumously awarded is PO2 Allan Ruiz for making the ultimate sacrifice during an encounter with a notorious gang leader in Compostela Valley last Dec. 12.

The Medalya ng Katangi-tanging Asal would be received by Barangay Captain Anastacio delos Santos for single-handedly defending his family and community against 10 NPAs who attacked his residence in Cagayan last Dec. 15.

The President would also bestow the Medalya ng Pambihirang Paglilingkod to P/Chief Supt. Luisito Palmera and PO2 Jay Macutay for their commendable and invaluable service in the conduct of the search, rescue and retrieval operations in the sinking of the M/V Princess of the Stars and M/B Maejan last Dec. 14.

The Medalya ng Katangi-tanging Gawa goes to P/Chief Supt. Arturo Cacdac, P/Chief Supt. Constante Azares, and Sr. Supt. Cesar Hawthorne Binag.

Others who performed best in 2008 are the PNP Headquarters Support Unit as Best National Administrative Support Unit; Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) as Best National Operational Support Unit; Quezon City Police District as Best NCRPO District Police Office; Davao del Norte Police Provincial Office as Best Provincial Police Office of the Year; Davao City Police Office as Best City Police Office of the Year; Pagadian City Police Station as Best City Police Station of the Year; Marikina City Police Station as Best NCRPO City Police Station of the Year; Ayungon Municipal Police Station in Negros Oriental as Best Municipal Police Station of the Year;

Regional Mobile Group-Cordillera as Best Regional Mobile Group of the Year; 201st Provincial Mobile Group Cagayan as Best Provincial Mobile Group of the Year; Police Regional Office 3 as Best Police Regional Office Women and Children Protection Center of the Year; Davao del Norte PPO as Best Police Provincial Office Women and Children Protection Center of the Year; Legazpi City Police Station as Best Urban Women and Children Protection Center of the Year; and Cabiao Municipal Police Station in Nueva Ecija as Best Rural Women and Children Protection Center of the Year.

Last Sept. 22, the President appointed Verzosa as the chief of the 125,000-strong police organization with marching orders to free streets of crime and help bring lasting peace in Mindanao.

Versoza said the PNP has initiated reforms and improved its capabilities to better address the needs of its personnel and respond to the concerns of the community.

For 2008, Versoza reported that the PNP ranked as the 6th best performing government agency and achieved a high 49 percent approval rating, according to various surveys.

The PNP was established on Dec. 13, 1990 through Republic Act No. 6975 and was activated on Jan. 29, 1991 under a reorganized Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Foremost among the PNP’s missions are to enforce the law, prevent and control crimes, maintain peace and order, and ensure public safety and internal security with the active support of the community.