20 COPS IN TROUBLE
Senior Supt. Royina Garma, the director of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), called out at least 20 policemen who were found literally sleeping on the job, wearing the improper uniform, and playing online games while on duty after a round of random inspections on Thursday.
“All of them were made to explain and we have to impose disciplinary measures (on them),” she said in an interview on Friday.
Also facing an investigation are the commanders of Police Stations 1 (Parian), 2 (Abellana), 5 (Carbon), and 9 (Guadalupe) as well as the acting chief of Police Station 4 (Mabolo).
Garma said command responsibility should be applied to the station commanders for not strictly implementing the rules.
The feisty city director vowed to implement stricter discipline among her men as part of the organization’s internal cleansing campaign.
She said she would continue to conduct random inspections to ensure the readiness of the policemen to respond to untoward incidents and threats.
“All station commanders should be strict. This is not the time to be kind,” Garma said.
She added: “I encourage them to strictly supervise their people. Go out at night (because) I will make random inspections to make sure they are working. I’ll be particular even the way you park the police cars.”
Three other policemen in Cebu City are also facing suspension for not attending a scheduled activity of the Internal Affairs Service.
Garma said the three police personnel were not able to justify their absence.
By shaking up Cebu City’s police force, Garma hoped to improve their services and reduce the crimes in the Queen City of the South.
She said the police were supposed to be ready for battle and not sleeping or doing other unnecessary things while on duty.
“If the police are awake, we’re effective in our campaign against criminalities,” Garma said.
Aside from going after policemen who are sleeping on the job or playing online games, she said she will also call the attention of those who don’t turn on their handheld radios and blinkers.
Chief Supt. Debold Sinas, director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), said all those who were found violating simple rules of the organization will undergo a one-month moral recovery program to re-train and reorient them about their roles as policemen.
He said all the policemen who were found sleeping on the job or engaging in non-work related activities while on duty will be asked to explain as part of the procedure.
They were recommended for a pre-charge investigation to give them due process and to determine the extent of their sanctions.
If proven guilty, Sinas said these policemen will be suspended for 30 days.
Sinas said he would order other city and provincial directors to emulate Garma’s programs in going after policemen who sleep on the job or have committed other infractions.
Among the officials whose attention was called by Garma were Chief Insp. Kenneth Paul Albotra, commander of the Parian Police Station; Chief Insp. Eduard Sanchez, of the Abellana Police Station; Insp. Richard Serafin, of the Mabolo Police Station; Senior Insp. John Kareen Escober, of the Carbon Police Station; and Senior Insp. Dexter Basirgo, of the Guadalupe Police Station.
Sought for comment, Albotra said he always reminded his men to adhere to the rules of the
“Sadly, they still committed some lapses,” he said in an interview.
From now on, Albotra said he would strictly impose the procedures especially for those doing the night shift.
“We have learned our lesson,” he said.
Sanchez, for his part, said he and his men would have to explain to Garma, hoping that they would be given the chance to make some adjustments.
“We need to improve our services,” he said.
Escober shared the same sentiment.
“We just have to face it,” he said.
As good law enforcers, Basirgo said they have to follow whatever directives their higher ups would issue.
“We will obey. And since our attention were already called, we will do a better job and hope that this won’t happen again,” he said.
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