SWAT team to MPG for return of cop cars’ repair aid — Tom
THREATS, DECISIONS, CONDITIONS
Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña will reconsider his decision to cut the city government’s allocation of gasoline for Cebu City police vehicles if the team of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) deployed to secure him will instead be moved to work with the Mobile Patrol Group (MPG).
Osmeña said this after he learned that Senior Supt. Royina Garma, Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) director, had assigned SWAT personnel to secure him amid the alleged threats on his life.
“I am requesting Col. Garma to deploy the SWAT team in the Mobile Patrol Group,” said Osmeña.
“Don’t worry about me. Just tell them to put them in the Mobile Patrol Group (MPG). Never mind me, I will take care of myself,” said Osmeña.
“My obligation is the safety of the people of Cebu City. Not my safety,” he said.
In a separate interview, Senior Superintendent Garma said that two police personnel had been detailed to secure the mayor.
“Even without the alleged threat, may security talaga siya para sa kanya (there are security people detailed to secure him),” she said.
Garma said that the SWAT team would secure the area near the mayor’s house and the routes that the mayor would pass through and ensure his safety.
“I have instructed SWAT na i-deploy sila near sa bahay ni Mayor and other routes asa siya (Osmeña) moagi. Veteran cops will secure the mayor,” said Garma.
(I have instructed SWAT to be deployed near the house of Mayor and other routes that the mayor will pass. Veteran cops will secure the mayor.)
But Osmeña said that he was not worried about his own safety amid receiving warnings of a possible ambush.
“If I am worried about my own security, I will resign,” Osmeña said in a press briefing on Tuesday.
On Monday evening, Osmeña posted on his official Facebook page that he would still receive texts cautioning him, Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak, and Tejero Barangay Councilman Jessielou Cadungog for their lives.
When sought for comment on this, Garma said that they had not received any information of a group wanting to kill Osmeña, but she assured that they would validate it.
The mayor’s statement also came four days after he announced his plans for the city to stop shouldering the repair and maintenance of vehicles that the city lent to the police and even threatening to cut the city’s gasoline allocation to the police.
His statement was made also barely a few hours after Garma requested the mayor to reconsider his decision.
“I don’t mind restoring the maintenance or whatever. As long as we can assert that we also have a say in our peace and order situation,” said Osmeña.
He also said that he would want the presence of SWAT in MPG to be 24/7.
“I’m doing this in the interest of the people of Cebu City,” Osmeña added.
But Garma said that the mayor’s request would involve a lot of technicalities.
“I will talk with the mayor on the deployment of SWAT. Our MPG are already deployed in a specific area,” said Garma.
She described the SWAT as a specialized unit and that this team would only come in if the police had already exhausted all other units in an operation.
She said the SWAT specializes in hostage negotiations and are snipers while the MPG is an assert team and serves as first responders.
She said that the MPG personnel are also deployed on streets to help ease traffic.
“Peace and order sa mga kalsada sila yun (Peace and order in the streets, that is their job),” Garma said.
She added that presently, CCPO has six functioning MPGs.
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