When you first meet Councilor Felipe Abigan, Jr., you would not expect to meet the embodiment of all of the core values of the Philippine College of Criminology (PCCR). For a man of such simple demeanor, he can give you a life story worthy of a feature on any network television show, or perhaps a full-length motion picture.
This prime example of Leadership was recently re-elected as Member of the Sangguniang Bayan (similar to City Council) of his hometown of Nasipit, Agusan del Norte, despite never having prior political experience. His friends and townmates simply saw his potential to lead, as well as his sincere heart of service. The result of his answering the call to service was being elected with a badge of Excellence as the number one Sangguniang Bayan Member for two straight terms, a feat which has never been achieved in his hometown.
Councilor Abigan credits much of his success to the lessons learned and time spent as a student in PCCR. He is among a select list of Batang 641 who have earned their Bachelor’s (BS Crim ‘88), Master’s (MA Crim ‘03), and Doctorate Degrees (PhD Crim ‘18) from PCCR. These milestones have helped both his personal and professional lives, as he has also climbed the ladder of success as an officer of the Philippine National Police.
Councilor Abigan does not claim to be perfect, just honest and authentic. His value of Accountability and Responsibility most evident when he claimed that he was not exempted from having cases filed against him while as a Police Officer, but because of his authenticity and clean service, none of the said cases proved guilt and fault on his end.
In his close to three decades in the service, Councilor Abigan bannered the Discipline he learned while a student and an officer in the Reserve Officer’s Training Course (ROTC) in PCCR. This helped him rise in the ranks from Patrolman to Inspector and even up to Deputy Chief of Police, stationed as far as Antipolo, Angono, Rodriguez, and Tanay. But, he did not let the success get to his head. His Empathy for his constituents and Service-Orientedness is rooted in his past experiences. As he recalls, “Alam ko yung pakiramdam na tinapay lang ang kinakain mula almusal hanggang hapunan (I know how it feels to only have bread for breakfast, lunch, and dinner).”
Councilor Abigan also credits his past teachers and professors for equipping him with the skills necessary to be where he is today. The Respect and admiration he has for his former mentors is evident as he recalled his encounters with some of them. Teachers such as Mr. Suarez for Investigation and LEA (Law Enforcement Administration), Sir Penalva for Crime Scene Photography, and even Mr. Almajose for Technical Writing, were some of those whom he considered “terrors” by reputation (even recalling having failed some of them twice), but left him with life skills and lessons that put him in his place in life.
When asked about what lessons and values he learned that helped him do his job as Police Officer and as Sangguniang Bayan Member well, he claims three:
First, he displays Humility despite his numerous achievements because he is always grounded and has never forgotten his roots. In his drive to attend to the needs of his constituents, he always highlights his limitations to temper expectations.
Second, Honesty/Integrity helped him gain the trust of people around him, as they can rely on his word of honor. “Just stay true to yourself” is his bit of advice for those who want to emulate him in Public Service. And
Third, which serves as his bedrock of success, is Perseverance despite the challenges of his life choices and situations. From a humble resident of Nasipit, Agusan del Norte, Councilor Abigan made the choice to move out of his current state of life, and into the big city.
Taking up menial jobs as Construction Worker, then Caritela Boy, and finally as Security Guard to some of Recto’s movie theaters, Hon. Felipe Abigan, Jr. put himself through night school at 641 Sales Street. With hard work, he graduated from our beloved Alma Mater thrice, each step a little bit better and wiser than the last. Today, he personifies the true essence of what it means to be a Batang 641. With the PCCR core values emanating from his deeds and good works, He truly serves as a vessel for Transforming Lives for the Good of the Public and the Country.
Mabuhay Kayo, Councilor Abigan!