SILANG, CAVITE: Fritz John Vallador proved that poverty is no hindrance to success when he graduated top of his class at the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) on Wednesday.
When Vallador was young, life was tough: he had to repeat grade one because his family was too poor.
The Negros Occidental native never had the chance to meet his father. He also grew up without his mother who was forced to find work in Spain.
At first, Vallador’s grandparents took care of him but when they could no longer support him financially, they gave the boy to Edwin and Nelia Deocares.
The couple stood proud when Vallador, the valedictorian of Maragtas Class 2018, received the Presidential Kampilan Award and the Chief PNP Kampilan Award.
In his valedictory address at the PNPA 39th commencement exercises in Silang, Cavite, Vallador attributed his strength to his foster parents.
“In my hours of loneliness at nights, I just think of my [foster parents]and remember what joy we had eating together the decent food they can provide for us, thinking that one day, I will come out from the Academy and return all the love and faith they gave me in whatever form I can offer,” he said.
“I was a Grade 1 repeater, and that was when I learned that life is going to be hard. It was as if hardship is a natural way of life,” he said. “I once questioned God’s existence because of what I am experiencing in life…but I am proof that in life’s obstacles, God will always show his mercy to those who are persistent and trustworthy.”
Vallador took up Bachelor of Science in Criminology at Bago City College in Negros Occidental before entering the PNPA.
As the top graduate, he also received a house and lot.
Vallador and 75 other graduates will start their training as members of the Special Action Force.
Class salutatorian Francis Fagkang from Mountain Province received the Vice Presidential Kampilan Award for placing second in their batch.
Jess Torres Agustin received the Department of the Interior and Local Government Kampilan Award and Philippine Public Safety College Award for placing third, while
Myrick Paldingan of Benguet received the Chief Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Award for placing the highest graduate under fire cadets. He placed fifth overall.
Christian Juego of Cavite placed sixth, while Arjay Marcauda Cuasay of Parañaque City received the Bureau of Jail Management and Penelogy (BJMP) for being the top jail cadet.
A total of 106 cadets graduated with the degree of bachelor of science in public safety.