A member of the Philippine National Police (PNP) reacts after being shot by a taser gun by a U.S. Marine instructor (R) during a Non-Lethal Weapons (NLW) demonstration at the Philippine Marine Corps' headquarters in Taguig city, metro Manila August 14, 2014. The annual demonstration aims to help soldiers and policemen improve their capabilities in maintaining peace and security. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco (PHILIPPINES - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY)
If the US has the world's handsomest crook, Jeremy Meeks, who even landed a £30,000 modelling contract when his mugshot became viral on the Internet, the Philippines has its own handsome cop and bomb expert-cum-model who is now a rising social media star.
He is Police Officer 2 Mariano Flormata Jr, who uses the screen name Neil Perez when walking the catwalk. The 29-year-old cop is the son of a police officer and is currently assigned to the Philippine National Police's Aviation and Security Group at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. He has been employed by the PNP since 2008.
When not wearing his blue policeman's uniform, Flormata - who stands 5' 11" - is one of the 26 male candidates in the 2014 Misters of the Philippines contest. He said he decided to join the pageant to promote physical fitness, especially among Filipino policemen who have gained over the decades the negative image of a pot-bellied officer who couldn't chase criminals because of his extra weight, particularly on his middle.
Flormata will represent the PNP and Tondo, Manila - a low-income community notorious for being the breeding ground of thugs and criminals - in the pageant, where the winner will represent the country in international male beauty contests.
He already has fans in the Philippines and Facebook page with his photos in bikinis has more than 10,000 likes so far. Flormata has also been featured in news programmes of GMA-7 and ABS-CBN.
Online voting in the pageant showed that Flormata, aka Neil Perez, leads with 48.18 per cent of the votes as of Thursday night, while the next candidate from Davao City, Jet Matela, has only 7.09 per cent.
Win or lose in the pageant which will have its finals on Sept 7 in Makati City, it would not be surprising if the handsomest cop in the Philippines - like his crook counterpart in the US - would also receive modelling contracts and movie offers. Perhaps, even indecent proposals from matrons and gays who find his physique, face and personality so arresting.