By Calvin Cordova
CEBU CITY— Love was in the air last Monday when police officers and non-uniformed personnel of the Central Visayas police walked down the aisle in a mass wedding at the St. Ignatius de Loyola Chapel of Camp Sergio Osmeña Sr. here.
Sixteen couples had their union blessed three days before the Valentine’s Day with the number three man of the Philippine National Police (PNP) standing as one of their sponsors.
Deputy Director General Archie Francisco Gamboa, the PNP’s deputy chief fur operations, flew in to be guest speaker at the 28th PNP Founding Day celebration.
“The mass wedding is an annual tradition of the PNP held every February 14 but we held it three days before the Valentine’s since Deputy Director General Gamboa was scheduled to attend our founding celebration,” said Chief Supt. Debold Sinas, Central Visayas police chief.
Sinas, along with Chinese Consul General in Cebu Jia Li, also stood as sponsors.
The regional police shouldered the brunt of the wedding expenses.
“The PRO 7 spent for the chapel decorations, food for the reception. We also gave each couple cash gift worth R5,000 for their gowns and barongs,” said Sinas.
Each couple was also entitled to a free hotel stay for three days and two nights, Sinas said.
“It is the advocacy of the PNP and also my personal advocacy that every policeman should have strong family ties. In our study, a policeman with strong family ties will not engage in illegal activities,” Sinas said.
Having a strong bond with their families will motivate police offices to work hard so that their families will be proud of them, he said.
“A police officer should have a supreme being to believe with. He should believe in something greater than him and that’s his family. Because at the end of the day, after our work or when we retire, we will always go home to our families,” Sinas said.
One of those who exchanged vows were Sr. Supt. Julian Entoma and his 52-year-old wife, Socorro.
The 55-year-old Entoma, chief of the Mandaue City Police, said he and Socorro were married in a civil wedding 22 years ago.
The couple has five children. They planned to have a church wedding in 2022 in time for their 25th anniversary but that changed when Entoma learned that Gamboa will be one of the godparents at the mass wedding.