Sinas meets Cebu media leaders

By: Ador Vincent Mayol September 20,2018 - 10:27 PM

Despite the series of unsolved killings here, Cebu’s top local police official said that there was no need to give a deadline for law enforcers to unmask and arrest the perpetrators.

Chief Supt. Debold Sinas, director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), said that setting an ultimatum will only make some policemen go after fall guys.

“Framing up suspects and planting of evidence have been a practice of some members of the organization. We’re doing our best to stop that. We keep changing people and conducting seminars to end this kind of practice,” he said.

Sinas was guest during the 48th quarterly meeting of the Cebu Citizens-Press Council, a gathering of Cebu media leaders which is one of the activities of the Cebu Press Freedom Week celebration, held at the Adnama Building in Mandaue City on Thursday.

The PRO-7 Director admitted that police investigators are having a hard time solving the killings in Cebu, saying that families of the victims are not cooperative with the police while they also lack witnesses.

“We just can’t arrest anyone. And if we file a case, we should have enough evidence (to prove the guilt of the accused in court),” said Sinas, who assumed as director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas last June 2018.

However, Sinas assured the public and families of the victims that the police continue to work hard to solve the killings.

“Unfortunately for now, we don’t have witnesses and other evidence. We need help. We need the local government, business sectors and other agencies. The problem is (that) some people blame the police,” he said.

Sinas said PRO-7 continues to maintain a healthy relationship with local government officials in Cebu, except for Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña.

“Except for Mayor Osmeña, everything is fine. Our relationship with him (Osmeña) is the same. He issues a statement and then on my part, I say no comment. I’m not fond of answering (back),” Sinas said.

“Osmeña has a preconceived notion of us (policemen). Why should we dialogue with him? Whatever we have right now, let it be,” he added.

Osmeña has been at odds with some policemen whom he criticized for the unsolved killings in the city.

The dispute came to a head on August 24 after Parian police accused Osmeña of taking under his custody three suspects who were arrested for selling butane canisters refilled with liquefied petroleum gas.

Osmeña denied the accusations. He said that Parian police did not object when he asked if he could take custody of the suspects.

The Cebu City police has filed charges for obstruction of justice, abuse of authority and violation of ethical standards for public officials against Osmeña before the Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas.

Meanwhile, Sinas said he does not have any problem with Cebu’s media, stressing that he understands the job of journalists.

“There are no threats against the Cebu media as of now. If there are any, it’s you who made it because there are those who sign (inventory sheets) even if they are not in the place (where the police raids were conducted),” he said.

He said the police, for their part, will do everything to live up to the call to “serve and protect” the people.

“Our internal cleansing is at the forefront, and we officers should live by example,” he said.

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