Labella questions Batiancela’s relief
AMID preparations for two big events in the city, the PNP headquarters relieved Senior Supt. Marciano Batiancela, Jr. as officer-in-charge of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) and replaced him with Senior Supt. Benjamin Santos, Jr. effective January 9.
Senior Supt. Rey Lyndon Lawas, regional directorate chief of staff, said Batiancela will continue to head the sub-task group for the Sinulog security as ordered by Chief Supt. Manuel Gaerlan, regional director of Police Regional Office Central Visayas (PRO-7).
However, it was not clear if Batiancela will still lead the security preparations for the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC), which will be held a week after Sinulog.
Acting Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said Batiancela’s relief is untimely as the city will be hosting two big events and Batiancela had laid out the security plans.
Although he has nothing against Santos, Labella pointed out that he was not in the list of recommended officials that the city mayor would choose from to be the next CCPO director.
Labella said the law has to be observed and the PNP should abide by the rules and regulations governing the replacement the city’s chief of police.
He cited Section 51 of Republic Act. 1695, which states that the chief executive or the city mayor will be the one to choose the next chief of police from a list of five recommendees.
“How come he was appointed as the new chief of police in the city? As soon as I will receive the letter, I will make a query about it. But as long as I have not received the letter, I will still consider Batiancela as the chief of police,” said Labella.
Batiancela assumed as CCPO OIC on March 16 last year after Chief Supt. Conrado Capa was reassigned to head the Negros Island Region (NIR).
Santos is the deputy chief for administration in Camp Crame.
Lawas assured that despite the revamp, the security preparations for the two events have been fine-tuned.
Meanwhile, airports in Central Visayas are now beefing up security measures as local and foreign tourist arrivals have increased because of the Sinulog festival and the holding of the IEC.
Senior Supt. Joselito Salido, chief of Aviation Security Group Central Visayas is reminding passengers to avoid bringing amulets made of bullet shells as they can be arrested because of the election gun ban which prohibits carrying of any firearm and its components.
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