Labella’s choice not in PNP’s Cebu city police chief candidates’ shortlist
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City incoming Mayor Edgardo Labella revealed that his personal choice for the next Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) director was not among the three shortlisted applicants of the Philippine National Police (PNP) for the position.
In a press conference on Tuesday, June 25, merely five days before his assumption as chief executive of the city, Labella said he was considering someone to recommend as CCPO’s next director, but he remained tightlipped on this police officer’s identity.
The only detail he revealed was that the officer he would be recommending to Camp Crame, the PNP’s national headquarters, had not yet been assigned in Cebu.
Labella said he had yet to review the applicants for the position as the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) already revealed three names including Police Colonel Lito Patay, current chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Central Visayas (CIDG-7); Colonel Marvin Marcos, head of CIDG in Eastern Visayas (CIDG-8); and Colonel Angela Rejano, chief of the Siquijor Provincial Police Office (SPPO).
Whoever would be chosen as the next CCPO chief will replace Police Colonel Royina Garma, who had been appointed to become the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) general manager.
Labella’s choice for the CCPO director is important because of the Local Government Code states that a mayor can recommend up to three qualified police officers for the position.
The incoming mayor expects a city police director who will uphold the rule of law and continue the fight against criminality and against illegal drugs but someone who respects life as well.
“Although I am really against extrajudicial killings (EJKs) because life is so precious, but if it is in the line of duty, if it will cost your (police) life in the performance of public function, you cannot just be a sitting duck. You have to also fight back because you have your family,” said Labella.
Labella said that the gender of the next police chief would not matter because current city director, Police Colonel Royina Garma, proved her worth to the city and was able to run the police force “as good as any man” would.
According to Police Brigadier General Debold Sinas, the director of PRO-7, the choice and recommendation of Labella will be taken into consideration by PNP’s Director General Oscar Albayalde, who will have the last say on the matter.
“The ultimate decision will be on the chief PNP. I think all three officers are qualified to become the city director,” said Sinas. /dbs
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