Defying all challenges and bannering the values of Perseverance and Discipline, Philippine College of Criminology (PCCR) Graduate School held its first graduation ceremony after the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Held at the iconic Manila Hotel on September 23, the 58th Graduate School Commencement exercises hosted the classes of the three years affected by the health crisis and lockdowns.
A total of 57 graduates were conferred by PCCR President Ma. Angelica Lei G. Bautista with the degrees Master of Science in Criminal Justice with specialization in Criminology (MSCJ) and Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology (Ph.D. Crim). In her message to the graduates, President Lei challenged the new graduates to push the bar of their respective professions even higher to show the world what a Batang 641 is made of. She urged them to improve the country’s criminal justice system and to influence others to be greater than who they think they are.
Among the notable members of the Graduate School class of 2022 are Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Wilkins Villanueva, Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) Board Member for Criminology and Examiner Hon. Warren Corpuz, and Philippine Navy Deputy Naval Adjutant Commander Ariel Constantino. Drs. Villanueva and Corpuz finished with the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology, while Commander Constantino finished with the MSCJ degree.
Former Philippine National Police Chief Gen. Nicanor Bartolome (Ph.D. Criminology 2009) delivered the commencement address. In his speech, Gen. Bartolome inspired the Class of 2022 with life lessons based on his many experiences as a leader. He emphasized how every visit to his Alma Mater is an exciting homecoming, as he remembered also being invited to speak to the graduates exactly ten years ago.
Responding on behalf of the graduating class were MSCJ Valedictorian Kervie Minao (Class of 2021) and Ph.D. Crim Valedictorian Dr. Kerwin Bartolome (Class of 2022). Despite the overwhelming pressure and hesitation, Minao said he felt an even stronger urge and motivation to pursue his Master’s Degree. As a trainee at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Minao realized that his PCCR education has prepared him to face whatever challenges posed by the tasks assigned. Despite graduating in 2021, Minao was the lone recipient of the Magna Cum Laude for the Master’s Degree Program for this year.
In his speech, Dr. Kerwin Bartolome agreed that despite all the tests and challenges, he has learned to remain steadfast in his pursuit of academic excellence, and to persevere because he wanted to be a shining example to the next generation. As a testament to his hardwork and perseverance, Dr. Bartolome received the Magna Cum Laude for the Ph.D. program, Outstanding Dissertation, Leadership Award, and Batang 641 Loyalty Award, for having finished his BS Criminology (2001), MS Criminology (2017), and Ph.D. Criminology (2022), in PCCR.
While leading the Class of 2022 in the Pledge of Loyalty to their Alma Mater, Professional Criminologists Association of the Philippines (PCAP) President and PCCR Graduate School Alumni Association President Gerry Cano (Ph.D. Criminology 2009) reminded everyone to ënjoy the fruits (of their success), but don’t forget the roots.”
In turn, PRC Criminology Board Chairman Atty. Ramil Gabao, MPSA (BS Criminology 1983, MS Criminology 2007, Ph.D. Criminology 2018) congratulated the new graduates of both programs. He urged everyone to celebrate any and all achievements, for these can be cause for motivation toward further improvement. He also noted how PCCR is fast moving toward Quality Assurance in Higher Education, through its new offerings and continuous improvement of facilities and programs. He emphasized that quality is organizational, and not just achieved by one program, department, or office.