December 6, 2021

PRO-12 chief pays surprise tribute to crippled ex-NoCot cop

MORALE BOOSTER. Brig. Gen. Alexander Tagum, PRO-12 director, confers the PNP Heroism Medal on former subordinate, retired Master Sgt. Rick Untalan, at the latter’s residence in Mlang, North Cotabato on Thursday (Nov. 25, 2021). Untalan was injured during a violent dispersal of protesters in Kidapawan City in 2016. Tagum (center, inset photo) said the medal is a recognition of Untalan’s bravery and act of heroism for his unselfish dedication to the police service. (Photo courtesy of PRO-12)

MLANG, North Cotabato – Brig. Gen. Alexander Tagum, director of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 12 (Soccsksargen), visited a crippled subordinate here Thursday that made the latter teary-eyed.

Retired Police Master Sgt. Rick Untalan was part of the augmentation force of the North Cotabato police office, then headed by Tagum, which helped disperse a group of violent protesters in Kidapawan City on April 1, 2016.

He was critically injured and was left paralyzed waist-down after protesters hit him with wooden poles and stones during the dispersal that turned violent when the protesters resisted.

On Thursday afternoon, Tagum, along with the PRO-12 directorial staff, showed up at Untalan’s residence unannounced that made the retired police officer shed tears.

“I never thought you will come and pay me a visit sir,” he said in the vernacular.

Tagum conferred on Untalan the Philippine National Police Heroism Medal (Medalya ng Kadakilaan) as a way of showing compassion and respect for the dignity of his men.

Tagum said the medal is also a recognition of Untalan’s bravery and act of heroism displayed during the rally where he showed his unselfish dedication to the police service.

The police director also handed over groceries, noche buena packages, apparel, and financial assistance to boost the morale of the injured policeman. (PNA)

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