The “kailyan” mindset speaks a whole heap of the way we embrace the value of kinship, relationships and bonds as Igorots of Mountain Province. In Bontoc, Sabangan, or Natonin, for instance, we sustain close ties and live daily by the effect of “everyone knows everyone” within our small communities. Wherever we go, be it abroad or anywhere in the Philippines, we never fail to take advantage of looking for people we know, or “kakailyans” make the most of finding us when we visit the places they call home.
Even in the US, despite their busy schedules, Igorots always get the most out of their break from work to gather, eat, and bond together. During the recently concluded CARASCUC Athletic Meet in Abra, the “kailyan” mentality was cultivated when the Chief of Police of Lagangilang Abra, PLT Napoleon B. Ledchi of Sabangan, Mountain Province, and married to a Bontoc lass Ms. Abegail Ramo, visited the MPSPC quarters at the ASIST main campus in Lagangilang. We learned during the early hour of our arrival in Abra that PLT Ledchi sent a party to escort the whole MPSPC delegation from the gateway to Abra until their quarters in Lagangilang. For 3 consecutive nights, the good police officer personally visited the MPSPC group to ensure that the athletes, coaches, and the staff were in safe hands. In fact, he also deployed a group of officers to watch over the delegation throughout the night.
As a gesture of our gratitude, Dr. Rexton Chakas, VPAF Dr. Rod Balcita, Mr. Rexon Damayan, Ms. Shane Mangacheo, Mr. Meynard Pacleba, and myself paid a courtesy visit to his office at the Lagangilang Police Station. The visit disclosed some significant information that concerned both Mountain Province in general and MPSPC in particular. We learned that PLT Ledchi has successfully carved his own niche in the province of Abra which sparked pride among us as Igorots of Mountain Province. This episode is a validation of the proliferation of reports highlighting the great accomplishments of Cordilleran police officers that are being recognized nationally, with the likes of Sir Byron Allatog and Sir Daniel Pumecha of Bontoc.
PLT Ledchi was recognized by the province of Abra in May 2019 as “No. 1 in the Unit Performance Evaluating Rating” for the outstanding accomplishments of his unit. Under his command, the Langangilang Municipal Police Station was also recognized by the Abra Police Provincial Office as “No. 1 in the Crime Volume or Crime Prevention” in September 2019. Earlier in July 2019, his unit was also conferred by the National Headquarter of PNP a plaque of recognition as the “Outstanding Municipal Police Station” for CY 2019 with no less than Senator Grace Poe gracing the awards ceremony. The unit was recognized for its significant and noteworthy PCR programs, projects, and activities that greatly contributed to the overall peace and development initiatives in the country. In the midst of all the brawls and controversies surrounding the PNP, we are elated to know that one e-Montanosa police officer is making waves in his own turf.
More than his recognitions, PLT Ledchi also instituted practices that are enormously inspiring. He shared about his best practices. First, his unit has a youth scholar program called Lapis, and it has 2 scholars, one in college and another one in high school. Each scholar receives a minimum monthly allowance of P1,200 and a maximum of P4,000. And here’s the thing. The police officers in his unit, including himself, contribute from their own pockets to raise this monthly requirement. PLT Ledchi also institutionalized a program called Tungtungan, and as the name implies, it involves barangay elders and barangay officials in the amicable settlement of certain incidents that can be solved within that level. The police station has also adopted a community engagement program in which designated police officers serve as anchors in the local radio station to disseminate the programs of the unit. In addition, the unit sustains a strong relationship with the community, e.g., helping the elderly and juvenile delinquents. More interestingly, the good officer has also survived politically motivated challenges inherent in his position, particularly in leading a flock that is vulnerable to varied political, moral, and social circumstances that impact their work.
Behind all these feats, PLT Ledchi continually negotiates with the challenge of being away from his family which is in Bontoc. He said that he enjoys serving other places by the trade-off is a very slim chance of going home to his family. Incidentally, PLT Ledchi does not feel estranged in his workplace because one of his officers is a fellow Igorot from Mountain Province who is an MPSPC alumna. She is Patrol Woman Ruth Ann Pogongan who graduated BSED English and has served the Lagangilang Police Station for 1 year and 3 months now.//Mark Preston Lopez