De Leon places Vinluan on ‘floating status’
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Police Brigadier General Valeriano De Leon, director of Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), has placed the chief of Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) under administrative relief to ensure a fair investigation of the case involving the ambush-slay of Clarin Mayor David Navarro.
De Leon said the administrative relief of Police Colonel Gemma Vinluan, who heads CCPO, was effective on Wednesday, October 30, shortly after he arrived in Cebu City from Bohol where he attended a command conference.
This decision follows after the probe on Navarro case was transferred to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) from the police as President Rodrigo Duterte himself expressed suspicion that the police had a hand in the mayor’s ambush.
Vinluan held the position as CCPO chief for only three months and 20 days, a post she took over from Police Colonel Royina Garma.
Police Colonel Geovanie Maines, deputy regional director for operations of CCPO, will oversee the responsibilities of Vinluan.
As the case is now under the turf of the NBI, De Leon said there is a need for the police to be given time to be evaluated in connection to the probe.
De Leon said Vinluan will be on a “floating status” while Navarro’s case is still under investigation.
He said Vinluan can be reinstated in her post at the CCPO after the investigation is concluded as long as the results will prove that the police did not commit any lapses that led to the death of the mayor of Clarin, Misamis Occidental.
“[She can come back to her post] kung makita natin na walang pagkukulang ang magiting at masipag na city director (if we find out that the director did not commit any lapses),” said De Leon.
De Leon said he will still have a dialogue with Police Major Eduard Sanchez, chief of Abellana Police Station, who was responsible for the custody of Navarro when the ambush happened.
De Leon said he is also looking at the possible relief of Sanchez in line with the NBI’s ongoing investigation of the case.
In a separate interview, Vinluan said she expected the regional director’s decision especially that her responsibility to command a the city’s police office is under investigation.
“I’d rather be relieved and let the investigation take its place para marinig din po ang side ng CCPO (so the side of the CCPO can be heard),” said Vinluan. / celr
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