Cop official awardee uses cash prize in building shelter for troubled youth

By Anthony S. Allada

DAVAO CITY – As Supt. Dionisio Abude promised after receiving the P100,000 cash prize when he was chosen the Cobra Pinoy Hero Awardee last August 29, 2012, a shelter now stands tall at the back of the Talomo police station.

Abude said he maximized the amount to make decent beds, lockers, pails, laundry and personal materials and utencils for the more 30 in-house youths who were formerly involved in crimes but now turning into productive citizens.

His personal advocacy to slowly transform them was the very basis that he was given that very coveted award, disputing the negative stereotyping of all policemen.

He said that aside from teaching them good values while under the police guardianship, they were also sent to school for free, taking up vocational and technical courses at the Emar Human and Environment College, formerly Emar Learning Center, accredited at the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

Abude said that he must be resourceful enough to feed them with the help of non-government organizations and civil-society groups like the Soroptomist International.

He said that they are also eyeing another partner group  which could help them the medical assistance once the children get sick.

Aside from Abude, other two awardees were Mark “Rubberman” Cerezo of Marikina City and Leonilo Beltran of Baler, Aurora.

Organizers behind the Cobra Pinoy Hero Awards sifted through some 2,000 entries, narrowed it down to 9, and finally selected the top 3.

Cerezo learned to make sculptures out of trash and discarded rubber from shoemakers and it was the 2007 Christmas Festival of Marikina that served as the turning point of his career. Cerezo was chosen to conceptualize the theme and design robots for the Festival. That big break led him to a host of media features.

Beltran, a former OFW electrician from Saipan founded the Skills Caravan, where volunteers teach vocational skills to out-of-school youth and jobless adults. He started teaching electrical skills to inmates as a volunteer of the Alternative Learning System of the Department of Education. That served as his springboard for the Skills Caravan. The Skills Caravan teaches plumbing and electrical skills, and soon, how to be a cook, barber, and computer technician. (ASA)




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