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Garbo had the last laugh

By: Ares P. Gutierrez December 06,2014 - 07:42 AM



Garbo’s name was stamped on Romana’s relief order as chief of the PNP Directorial Staff.

SENIOR Supt. Noli Romana’s removal as chief of police of Cebu City reopened an old wound whose sting hounded him throughout his one year and three month stint at Camp Cabahug.

“We’ve patched things up. I approached him when we were attending a program in Camp Crame. I offered my apologies and I explained my side to him and he accepted it. Okay na kami,” Romana told Cebu Daily News in an interview early this year when asked how things are between him and Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr.

Garbo, then chief of Police Regional Office 7, nearly scuttled Romana’s appointment to head the Cebu City Police Office when he ordered his relief as provincial police director of Negros Oriental in July 2013. Romana got the boot for his alleged failure to curb illegal gambling in the province.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama questioned the timing of Romana’s relief as he had just re-submitted his endorsement to have him designated as the city’s next police chief vice OIC director, Senior Supt. Mariano Natuel.

Romana was transferred to the Regional Police Holding Unit as  Garbo had asked Camp Crame to assign Romana to another province.

“I don’t know if this will affect the choice of (Mayor) Rama pero ako I am just doing my job and I requested Camp Crame for the issuance of his order,” Garbo told reporters.

Rama instead went on the offensive to lobby for Romana’s appointment. In a series of meetings with Cebu’s editors and columnists following Garbo’s order, Rama made a special pitch for Romana, stomping his feet and shouting himself hoarse, appealing to Camp Crame to “give me my chief of police”.

Rama was invoking a provision of the Local Government Code which gives local chief executives the authority to choose their chiefs of police from among a list of eligibles provided by the Philippine National Police. Romana was in the list provided by the PNP.

A few weeks after, Camp Crame gave in to Rama’s lobby and cleared Romana to assume the top post at CCPO.

The seemingly vanquished Garbo was subsequently transferred out of PRO-7 and was named chief of the NCR Police Office where he earned his 2nd star. He went on to become the 4th highest ranked officer in the PNP.

Garbo’s name was stamped on Romana’s relief order as chief of the PNP Directorial Staff.

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TAGS: Camp Crame, Garbo, PNP

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