Tom O to Garma: Deploy SWAT team to streets or I’ll file a case against you

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram with USJ-R Intern Delta Delta Dyrecka Letigio August 15,2018 - 10:42 PM

CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmeña is considering taking legal action against the Cebu City Police Office director if she will not deploy operatives from the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team to patrol the streets with the Mobile Patrol Group (MPG).

In a press conference yesterday, Osmeña announced that he would file a case against CCPO Director, Senior Supt. Royina Garma, if she would not heed his request.

As the local chief executive of Cebu City, he said, he had the authority to do so.

“I will file a complaint because I am authorized to deploy (SWAT). Anyway, if they will disobey me, they will know what will happen,” added Osmeña.

Aside from that, Osmena also asked Garma to transfer a police officer, who was a former operative of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Central Visayas and is currently detailed at the CCPO.

CDN is withholding the police officer’s identity until we can get his side on the mayor’s allegations.

Osmena linked the police officer to the shooting of a former policeman, Ahmed Luzano and Calamba Councilman Hildibrando Ygonia.

Osmena said that he had received information about the police officer’s activities.

“I have many questions for the police but right now, I am formally asking her (Garma) to have (the police officer) to be transferred outside Cebu. He is in my on not-so-nice list,” Osmeña said.

CDN also tried to call Garma to get her reactions on the mayor’s conditions and requests, but she could not be reached for comment.

In an earlier interview, Garma said that the CCPO would also be willing to deploy policemen in the mountain barangay of Sinsin, Cebu City, to grant another request from Osmeña to ensure peace and order in the city.

However, Garma said that she would first clarify what the mayor wants, whether to just deploy police officers there or to establish a police detachment in the area.

“If you want a mere deployment, to defer the entry and exit (of suspected criminals), yes, we will deploy (police officers). But to establish a detachment, that is another story,” Garma said.

She said that police deployment would involve sending police officers to an area to conduct police operations while establishing a police detachment would involve assigning police officers to a barangay to maintain public safety and security.

Meanwhile, Councilor Dave Tumulak, who is also the deputy mayor for police matters, said that despite the word war between Mayor Osmeña and CCPO Chief Garma, the relationship between the city government and the Philippine National Police had remained strong.

Tumulak who held a dialogue with Garma regarding the city’s peace and order situation, said that he was impressed with the CCPO director’s plans for strengthening the security of the city.

“Wala may strain sa kapulisan ug sa Syudad sa Sugbo. Usa raman gyod ang atong tumong nga magtinabangay para sa kaayohan sa Sugbo, (There is no strained relationship between the police and the city government. We both have one goal and that is for the betterment of Cebu),” Tumulak said.

“We just have to respect their statements both, mayor and PNP,” Tumulak said.

He said that the city government would support Garma’s deployment of more police forces in Barangay Ermita since this had been approved in a resolution by the City Council on August 14.

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