A home for retired police chaplains, why not? This is the latest project of PNP chief, General Oscar Albayalde and his wife Cherrylyn, both devout Roman Catholics who are behind a plan to build a retirement house for PNP chaplains in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
I came to know of the project while hearing a healing mass for a friend, Senior Superintendent Richard ‘Osang’ dela Rosa of Philippine Military Academy Class 1991 last Friday noon at the Camp Crame Chapel.
Sad to say, ‘Osang’ passed away due to a terminal illness hours after I saw the power couple leading the big crowd with Mrs. Albayalde later addressing the crowd at the end of that mass.
According to Mrs. Albayalde, they already held the groundbreaking for their Twin Hearts Bahay-Pari ng PNP at the NCRPO headquarters in Camp Bagong Diwa. The event was held when Gen. Albayalde marked his 55th birthday last November 8.
The Chief PNP’s wife said it has been her long-time dream to build a retirement house for PNP priests. “It was just a dream at first, and some people I approached did not believe it can be done. Indeed, as the Bible says, many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose which prevails.”
Mrs. Albayalde gave credit to two police chaplains, Fr. Ronilo Ponsaran and Fr. Ronilo Datu for standing with her on the laudable project. She also commended Imam Ebra Moxsir for his feat. “We know that because of their vow of celibacy, our priests have no wives or children to come home to and care for them in their old age,” she said.
“Because they devoted themselves to serving others, they were not able to provide material comforts for themselves. A retirement home is our way of showing gratitude for their faithful service as our spiritual guides,” she added.
To help get additional funds for the project, Mrs. Albayalde said they are mounting a fund-raising campaign thru the ‘Isang Daan Mo, Bahay Ko’ in which policemen and their friends and relatives can voluntarily donate P100 for the project.
Mrs. Albayalde at the same time encouraged all PNP Chaplain Service officers—whether they are priests, pastors or Muslim Imams to stay true to their faith. “That is your primary calling from the Lord, and as such, you are God’s warriors against sins and faithlessness.”
“Dahil kailangan ng PNP ang inyong serbisyo, binigyan din po kayo ng uniporme at ranggo bilang pulis, because you are an integral part of the police force and tasked to minister to law enforcers and their families. My prayer is that you always remember your primary calling and vows as God’s spiritual warriors and let Him lead you to where he wants you to serve. Your uniform and rank are secondary to the Lord’s purpose for you,” she remarked.
The couple attended the consecration and enthronement ceremonies at the newly-renovated Saint Joseph Parish Church which is the heart and hub of all spiritual activities in Camp Crame. Both are generally known for promoting spiritual renewal within the PNP, it actually serving as the soft hand in the PNP’s internal cleansing program.
Mrs. Albayalde recounted that when Gen. Albayalde was still the NCRPO chief, they have embarked on a personal mission to address the longing of the police personnel when it comes to truly establishing personal relationship with God and strengthening their walk in faith.
With God’s will, Mrs. Albayalde and the PNP Officers’ Ladies Club led the holding of Lenten retreats, confession and counselling sessions for the police and their families and most importantly, largely thru the help of NCRPO District Directors managed to renovate or build chapels, prayer rooms and other places of worship.
One of their accomplishments is the building of the San Lorenzo Ruiz Chapel at the Southern Police District, I learned. Since Gen. Albayalde became the country’s top cop last April 19, they have already consecrated chapels at the Police Regional Offices 1,2,3,4-A,6 and 8 and the Adoration Chapel at the NCRPO headquarters in Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City.
Mrs. Albayalde said that the SPD headed by my friend, newly-promoted Chief Superintendent Ely Cruz also had the consecration of the SPD Adoration Chapel last Sunday while the PRO12 headed by Chief Supt. Ely Rasco is nearing the completion of their chapel in General Santos City.
She also made special mention of their ‘mistah,’ teacher Gig Batac who is serving as the principal of the PNP Officers’ Ladies Club-run Pre-School and the one supervising all their regional day-care centers across the country.
Mrs. Albayalde also said they were very grateful to President Duterte for providing P25 million a month to the PNP General Hospital to help reimburse the hospital expenses of police officers and men and last but not the least, classmates of Gen. Albayalde from PMA Class 1986 who helped construct a ‘Sinagtala Wing’ in the PNP Hospital.
The Camp Crame Chapel now boasts of a a Cross at the Church’ rooftop, a beautiful Liturgical Altar, an Adoration Chapel, a Museum for Saints, appropriate quarters for police-priests and most importantly, new toilets for the parishioners. Speaking of toilets, the Albayalde couple is making sure that all police toilets will be well-kept and maintained, complete with running water and ventilation. Don’t you know that the PNP chief becomes irritated by the sight of an untidy police station and office, specifically their toilets. This is Gen. Albayalde’s standard.