Hails in “The Sweet City at The Heart of Panay,” Police Cadet Ernie Alarba Padernilla, a native of Passi City, Iloilo, bags the highest honor, becoming the Valedictorian of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) Alab Kalis (Alagad ng Batas na Kakalinga sa Sinilangang Bayan) Class of 2022.
His journey toward entering the police force’s primary source of officers, the Philippine National Police Academy was not easy as others think, it was a rocky road experience as he said. Being challenged by poverty, as he was raised by his father, a proud farmer, and his mom, a full-time housewife, he devoted his time and effort to study hard and work for his dreams with his family as his lone inspiration.
He took up Bachelor of Science in Criminology at Passi City College (PCC) in 2017 at the age of 20, and graduated with flying colors declared Magna Cum Laude. In the same year, he passed the Criminology Board Examination at the same time the Philippine National Police Academy Cadet Admission Test.
Given the fact that his age wasn’t accepted for patrolman application (at that time), on May 1, 2018, his plan of becoming a cadet was realized for he has successfully been admitted to PNPA and became part of Alab-Kalis Class 2022.
After four long years of schooling, staying inside the academy, Police Cadet Padernilla, together with the 225 strong members of the class, successfully finished the cadetship program.
On April 18, 2022, Padernilla and other cadets in the top 10 of the PNPA class were presented by PNPA Director, Major General Alexander Sampaga at the PNP National Headquarters in Camp Crame. Among the top were Police Cadet Regina Joy Belmi Caguioa of Taguig City (Rank 2), Police Cadet Precious Shermaine Domingo Lee of San Juan City (Rank 3), Police Cadet Fidel Elona Triste III of Palo, Leyte (Rank 4), and Police Cadet Geneva Limjuco Flores of San Carlos City, Pangasinan (Rank 5).
The other cadets in the top 10 are Police Cadet Zoe Compleza Seloterio of Sta. Barbara, Iloilo (Rank 6), Police Cadet Neil Winston Navalta of Diffun, Quirino (Rank 7); Police Cadet Mhar Dum-ayan Vilora of Pugo, La Union (Rank 8); Police Cadet Collyn Mae Dimazana Panganiban of Antipolo City, Rizal (Rank 9); and Police Cadet Alyssa Angalan Bantasan of Bauko, Mountain Province (Rank 10).
Eight cadets among the top will be joining PNP while the remaining two in the name of Police Cadet Navalta and Police Cadet Panganiban, will be commissioned as officers of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), respectively.
The top 10 graduating class were congratulated by no less than the Philippine National Police Chief, Police General Dionardo Carlos, during a press briefing. Padernilla will receive the Presidential Kampilan award while Caguioa will receive the Vice Presidential Kampilan award for graduating Numbers 1 and 2 in their class. Moreover, Chief, PNP Kampilan (the highest order of merit for Police Cadet); Best in Thesis; and Best in Forensic Science were also awarded to Padernilla.
Reminiscing his memories, Padernilla said his first year at the PNPA, was the “most memorable” period of his cadetship. It was the transition period from being a civilian into a cadet. That was when the core values of the Philippine National Police Academy—justice, integrity, and service- were introduced to them. It was also the period when he and his fellow cadets were taught to strictly observe and adhere to the honor code and honor system and to exemplify the highest form of discipline and professionalism.
“Inside the academy, we were molded physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually… so that we will be prepared the moment we graduate from the Philippine National Police Academy and become public safety leaders,” said Padernilla.
This new generation of leaders will be joining the tri-bureau of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), 204 of the class members are set to join PNP, 11 will join BJMP, while 11 more will go to BFP.