LOS ANGELES — While they fight crime for a living, some members of the Philippine National Police are fighting for pride at the World Police Games. After a big haul in badminton last week, officers are now taking home medals in the combat sports.
From the boxing ring to the Taekwondo map, members of the Philippine National
Police proved that they are among the world’s toughest cops.
The 5-person strong Taekwondo team bagged 7 medals — including three golds, 2 silvers, and a pair of bronze.
“I’m so happy nah gold medalists ang team Pilipinas ng taekwondo,” said Eva Santiago.
Injuries could not stop these officers in both the forms and sparring competitions.
“Feeling proud masarap maging Pinoy and even though ma injured ako, God, hindi ako pina bayaan,” said Dauphin Punzalan.
In boxing, Jose Daryl Sobretodo fell short of a gold medal — losing a split decision to his
Mexican American opponent.
The 29-year old highway patrol officer finishes his first World Police and Fire Games with a silver medal.
“I’m happy to fight for final bouts, and I do my best, but I guess is not enough but maybe next time if I have the opportunity,” he said.
Philippine delegation athletes sign up to play on their own and have to find their own means to the US. Many stay with relatives and friends.
Sobretado was taken in by his fellow masons, and even got some help from
Wild Card coach Marvin Somodio.
Combat sports weren’t the only fights for the Philippines.
Despite being winless after four games, the undersized PNP responders basketball team… continue to fight hard — keeping games close, and earning praise from their opponents.
The games will continue until Wednesday, and Filipino officers still have chances at other medals, such as volleyball and 3-on-30 basketball.
The athletes at the World Police and Fire games are no joke. After all their livelihoods depend on protecting others, but for a few days, they get to trade in their badges, hopefully for some medals.