The outgoing batch of the Philippine United Nations Police (UNPOL) Contingent in Timor-Leste was recently honored in a "Medal Parade" in recognition of their service to the peacekeeping efforts of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT).
The Philippines has one of the largest police contingents in the UNMIT, with 90 Philippine National Police (PNP) officials, 22 of them are women, or approximately 25 percent of the contingent. They will complete their tour of duty in April.
In his message during the ceremonies, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and Head of UNMIT Ameerah Haq highlighted the substantial presence of female UNPOL officers in the contingent.
According to her, the Filipino women peacekeepers have greatly supported and complemented the gender advocacy efforts of UNMIT.
For his part, UNMIT Police Commissioner Luis Miguel Carrilho acknowledged the significant contributions of the contingent to the strengthening of the institutional capacity of the Timor-Leste National Police (PNTL), with 35 members appointed either as police advisers or mentors to the local police in crucial areas of law enforcement and community policing.
Carrilho also commended the Filipinos, headed by its commander Police Superintendent Mario Llorin, for going the extra mile by organizing socio-civic activities for Timorese communities.
Philippine Ambassador to Timor-Leste Maria Aileen Bugarin, meanwhile, praised the contingent for being effective "ambassadors of goodwill" by showcasing before the Timorese people the positive and exemplary traits of the Filipino and for nurturing also the already existing friendship between the Filipino and Timorese people.