On Tom losing control of the police

By Ricky Poca |August 15,2016 - 10:01 PM

The latest news on Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña concerned the withdrawal of his operational authority over the police by the National Police Commission (Napolcom) and the transfer of his bodyguards that included the controversial Adonis Dumpit to Bohol.

This development came on the heels of the reassignment of some police officials identified with him and the mayor’s withdrawal of vehicles and financial support to the police.

I know that the mayor isn’t bothered by these developments since he’s sure of himself and his needs as city mayor. By the way PNP Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa categorically declared recently that a PNP official close to the mayor received from self-confessed drug dealer Franz Sabalones P200,000 a week and is now assigned somewhere in Mindanao.

This development is considered disturbing enough by the City Council that they asked that it be investigated. My source tells me that this official conducted the operation to kill suspected drug dealer Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz in Manila in order to silence him.
Thus it was no small surprise that the PNP officials who participated in the operation were all sacked or were reassigned somewhere else.

But what about the list read by President Rodrigo Duterte that named former Cebu City mayor Michael Rama as drug lord protector? Well, I received reports that the list emanated from the previous administration to which Rama isn’t allied with, and thus it may be considered a poisonous source.

What is refreshing to hear is that the president has a new batch of lists of local government officials involved in protecting the illegal drug trade. Now what about the withdrawal of Mayor Osmeña’s police deputation authority?

Simply put, the mayor now cannot order the police around nor appoint a city police chief of his own choice. The PNP also directed the mayor to surrender all firearms in the city to the PNP.

I think this marks a new low in relations between the city and the PNP, and it may be detrimental to Cebu City.

* * *

The City Treasurer’s Office’s recent revelation that the city has P10 billion cash in the banks dispels claims by the Osmeña administration that Cebu City is on the verge of bankruptcy.

The mayor simply wanted to discredit former mayor Rama by accusing him of fiscal mismanagement. The mayor also doesn’t want anything to do with the reconstruction of the Cebu City Medical Center because it is a project of the former mayor.

While I don’t think the Osmeña administration will pursue the project, I am pinning my hopes that the national government can pursue it.

I am asking Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino to intercede in behalf of Cebu City and convince President Duterte to adopt the project.

If this could be done, then it would be welcome news to Cebu City.

* * *

Today is the 10th anniversary of the 888 News Forum and let me congratulate the founders for making it an avenue of free expression.

It was Ma’am Jenny Franco and Inday Malou Apalisok that broached the idea of a news forum in coordination with dyRF and I was contacted to host the show.

The first venue of the 888 New Forum was at the Parklane Hotel and I would like to sincerely thank the various hotels that housed the 888 News Forum. The forum organizers count themselves lucky that it is supported by Consul General Bobby Joseph of Latvia.

Honey Loop Jarque and Director Dawnie Roa are part of the Board of Trustees of the 888 News Forum.

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