Loot also loses police control
DAANBANTAYAN Mayor Vicente Loot has officially become the second local chief executive in Central Visayas to be stripped of his authority over the police.
Loot confirmed that he has received a copy of an en banc resolution from the the National Police Commission (Napolcom) removing his authority over the police in his town.
He said he personally received the document at 11 a.m. yesterday from Napolcom 7 director Homer Mariano Cabaral who served the resolution.
He said he will abide by it and will continue to support the police force.
“I have no problem with that. I haven’t been exercising such power. I have been telling my wife (former mayor Luisa Loot) nga ayaw panghilabot sa (don’t meddle with the) police. Instead, you support them and just get results from them,” he told Cebu Daily News in a phone interview.
Loot said the Napolcom resolution removed his power to choose a chief of police, as well as his supervision and control over the police force and also his disciplinary authority over them as mayor.
Loot, a former police general and a first time mayor, said he has no plan to select a chief of police. “I just requested for anybody as long as he will live up to our standards of public service. That’s what I told the regional director.”
As for the supervision and control, he said he has not been meddling with the operations of the police and that the chief of police can supervise his own people. As for his disciplinary authority, Loot said the police have their own disciplinary mechanism and that mayors rarely exercise this power.
Loot said his town has been supporting the police — providing legal assistance in case policemen get sued; a P50,000 reward for policemen who can neutralize drug pushers and P10,000 if they can arrest them, using the mayor’s intelligence fund — and would continue to do so even with the Napolcom resolution.
“No (I won’t stop supporting the police). Why should I let the police suffer? If they suffer, my constituents will suffer. (Those powers) are only decorative. What’s important is that the police will do their job and protect the people. I am a police officer, I will never leave them, and I will always be a police officer,” he said.
Lawyer Risty Sibay, Napolcom-7 spokesperson, told GMA Cebu’s Balitang Bisdak that Loot’s authority over the police was taken away because he was named as one of five generals allegedly involved in illegal drugs.
“The Napolcom saw that this (being an alleged drug protector) can hamper our campaign on peace and order. That’s why the Napolcom en banc withdrew the deputation of Mayor Loot,” Sibay said in the Balitang Bisdak interview.
Supervision over the Daanbantayan police is transferred to the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) under Chief Supt. Noli Taliño.
Just the other day, the Napolcom also stripped Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña of the same set of authority over the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO).
The Napolcom cited Osmeña’s withdrawal of the city government’s support to the police as one of the grounds for the decision.
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