Osmeña: Police should be deployed on field
Despite the spate of killings of local government officials in Luzon, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said that he can work in peace even without police security.
“There’s always a threat but we just need to take our job seriously. I am more concerned with the welfare of the people of Cebu City than myself,” said Osmeña.
The mayor said that he would be willing to give up his security details and endorse them to the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) so that they can be deployed on field, if that would improve the peace and order of the city.
Osmeña has two police security aides who take turns in escorting the mayor to his appointments.
“If the police need my escort to improve the peace and order situation, if they need them, they can have them. That’s my priority,” Osmeña told Cebu Daily News.
During the courtesy visit of CCPO chief, Senior Supt. Royina Garma to Osmeña last Friday, the mayor directed the new police chief to make sure that even the pettiest crimes in the city would be solved.
In a separate interview, Garma said the mayor urged her to have more uniformed personnel deployed on field.
Garma committed to mobilize 180 personnel from the CCPO to the 11 police precincts in the city.
Osmeña also urged government officials not to request for more than enough security escorts.
Osmeña reiterated that police personnel should be put on the ground to help reduce crime rate rather than be kept in offices to look after government officials.
A town mayor in Negros Oriental has expressed interest in applying for a police security detail with the Police Security Protection Group Regional Office (PSPG-7).
PSPG-7 Operations head, Chief Insp. Alfredo Simbol said the town mayor asked for the requirements needed in order to be afforded a police escort.
According to Simbol, an applicant has to write a letter to the police detailing the reasons why he should be assigned a police security escort, and attach a blotter report that he is under threat.
The application will be reviewed and validated and the application sent to the PNP Director for approval.
Since the start of July, two mayors and one vice mayor in Luzon were gunned down by armed perpetrators.
Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili was shot dead during the flag raising ceremony at the city hall on Monday while General Tinio, Cavite Mayor Ferdinand Bote was ambushed while on board his vehicle in Cabanatuan City the following day.
Yesterday, Trece Martires City, Cavite Vice Mayor Alex Lubigan was attacked by gunmen while outside a Korean restaurant in the city.
This prompted Tuburan Mayor Democrito Diamante, Cebu chapter president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP), to urge local chief executives to hire their own bodyguards.
Diamante said the mayors should be vigilant amid the spate of killings.
Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III also urged concerned chief executives not to rely on police details for their security.
Davide said the officials should realize that there are too few police personnel assigned in the province and the present number might be inadequate to maintain peace and order if each official would ask for a personal security detail. /with Benjie Talisic
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