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Asturias police officer inspires with heroic deed and achievements

Police Cpl. Jennibeth Fortes Antabo is a mother, a police officer, and a hero rolled into one. She reminded women that challenges are just momentary situations that provide learning opportunities. (Photo courtesy of Cebu Police Provincial Office)

In February, 80-year-old Ernesto Tugbong met an accident in Asturias, Cebu. 

While he was out walking, he sustained two lacerations on his head. Because they live in a remote barangay and due to their limited resources, Tatay Ernesto’s family could not bring him to a hospital right away. 

His granddaughter turned to social media to seek help. 

Her Facebook post caught the attention of Police Cpl. Jennibeth Fortes Antabo of the Asturias Municipal Police Station, who promptly and personally responded to the call for help less than 24 hours after the accident. 

Antabo brought Tatay Ernesto to the nearest hospital and helped him go through the screening and laboratory tests. 

Upon learning about what happened, some of Antabo's friends as well as various PNP units sent help – mostly grocery items – to  Tatay Ernesto. 

Antabo’s heroic deed does not come as a surprise. This multi-awarded policewoman has been recognized several times for her unwavering dedication to public service. 

A mother, a police officer, and a hero rolled into one. This is the story of how a policewoman conquered the challenges of being a female in what is traditionally a male-dominated profession to become a trailblazing woman in law enforcement.

Antabo responded to an elderly in remote location in Asturias who has attained lacerations after a stroll. Tatay Ernesto had once a stroke and simply wanted to walk but meets an unfortunate incident. The PNP and other donors extended their help for Tatay Ernesto. (Photo courtesy to Asturias Police Provincial Office)
‘Disney princess’

A ‘Disney princess’ is how Antabo used to describe herself in her younger days. On social media, being labeled as a 'Disney princess' implies that a woman is being treated in a special manner, such as being spared from any burdensome responsibilities or work.

“Dili mi datu, although naay naka-eskwela namo. Hinatagan lang gyud ko perme,” Antabo shared. 

(We’re not wealthy, although there are some of us who went to school. I am just well provided.)

As the youngest in a family of 10 siblings, Antabo led a sheltered life free of responsibilities as her older siblings took on the obligations of augmenting their family’s finances. She was free to focus on her studies and grow up a happy-go-lucky kid. 

She looked up to her older brother who was a police officer and he inspired her to follow in his footsteps. 

However, after graduating from high school with honors, Antabo enrolled in nursing school at her brother’s urging. But eventually, she convinced him that she would fare better being a police officer. 

“Nakita gud nako niya how disciplined he was,” she said. 

(I really saw how disciplined he was.)


Just as she was about to shift to Criminology, Antabo learned that she was pregnant. This put a dent in her plans and she had to stop her studies. After giving birth, she landed a job as a sales lady in a local bakeshop. Antabo realized how difficult life is as she had to earn money for herself and her child. 

“Naningkamot ko para ma-sustain akong bata even at least pang-diaper man lang,” she said. 

(I worked hard so I could earn enough even just to be able to buy diapers for my baby.)

She had been striving to earn a living for almost a year when her dream came knocking again. Her policeman brother gave her one more chance and offered to pay for her studies so she could go back to school and finish her Criminology course. 

Antabo grabbed the chance and juggled the duties of being a mother and a student at the same time. She also  took on odd jobs on the side to sustain her personal needs. 

After graduation, she immediately took both the licensure and National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) examinations, and passed both tests. 

By July 2016, she was finally accepted into the Philippine National Police (PNP) and underwent rigorous training. 

“Pareho ra tanan ang training ma-lalaki ka man o ma-babaye,” said Antabo as she recalled those times where being a woman was not an exemption to undertaking challenging tasks in the police force. 

(The training is all the same whether you are a man or a woman.)

After almost eight years in service, 36-year-old Antabo has proven her strong commitment to public service, while juggling the responsibilities of being a law enforcer, a wife, and a mother of three. 

Multi-awarded police officer

Antabo was twice awarded Outstanding Family Juvenile and Gender Sensitivity (FJGS) by the Cebu Provincial Police Police Office (CPPO) in 2021 and 2022. 

She was also recognized as Best Police Non-Commissioned Officer (PNCO) for the third quarter of 2023 and won the ‘Ginang Asturias’ of 2023. She was also featured as the Police Officer of the Week by the CPPO during their Women’s Week 2024. 

Antabo poses with her family after she was crowned Ginang Asturias 2023. (Photo courtesy of Asturias Police Facebook page)

Her efforts in the Asturias PNP’s anti-illegal drug operations led to ten barangays being declared drug-cleared. She is currently working on doing the same for four other barangays in the town. 

Antabo also handles the literacy program for surrenderees under PNP’s General Intervention Program for the low-risk Persons Who Use Drugs (PWUDs).

Her achievements are feats that many may not think that a woman like Antabo can pull off, with her slight build and petite frame. 

She describes her job as a “jack of all trades, but master of none.”

“Kay once mag-police ka, naay magpa-advise mura ka’g mahimong abogado. Ana sab mangayo og tambag mura ka’g pari, unya at the same time na pareha kang tatay, mura pud ka’g nurse. Unya at the same time mura pud ka’g gatudlo sa school, mura sab ka’g maestra,” explained Antabo. 

(Once you become a police officer, you are asked for advice so you’re like a lawyer. Some would go to you for counsel, so you're like a priest. Just like what happened to (Tatay Ernesto), we also serve like nurses. Sometimes, we also teach.) 

Despite the versatility of her chosen profession, Antabo remains dedicated to her work.

“So nakaingon ko nga naa jud siguro diri ang akong passion as a policewoman,” she said. 

(I can say that this is where my passion lies, in being a policewoman.) 

Antabo shared that her career is driven by her precept: “As we serve others, we are working on ourselves; every act, every word, every gesture of genuine compassion naturally nourishes our own.”

She reminded other women that life’s challenges are just momentary situations that provide learning opportunities that would develop one’s diligence and confidence. (JJT/PIA 7)

About the Author

Jositte Ann Tista


Region 7

Jositte Ann Tista is an Information Officer I at Philippine Information Agency (PIA) - 7. 

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