Osmeña: Sudden revamp shows police don’t trust me.
Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said the sudden revamp and reshuffle of police officers in Cebu City showed the distrust of the police hierarchy of him.
“I am angry. What I am beginning to see is that they do not trust me. Well, I don’t trust them either,” Osmeña said.
Philippine National Police Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa had appealed to the mayor not to abandon the police as he explained that the reason for the massive revamp and reshuffle of police officials and operatives was because some of them were under the payroll of drug lords and were somehow involved in drugs.
“How come all the drugs are gone? My question is just simple. What are you talking about? And who is abandoning who? Sila na lang magbuot. (Let them decide.) It’s a good thing I made that decision to let them go,” the mayor said.
Osmeña was offended by the sudden relief of Chief Supt. Patrocinio Comendador and Senior Supt. Benjamin Santos, who were regional and city police directors respectively, and vowed to wash his hands off the campaign against illegal drugs and criminality in the city and leave it all to the police.
He said prior to the revamp, he had set his mind and heart in solving the peace and order situation in the City.
“Let me tell you something. He (newly appointed Cebu City police chief, Senior Supt. Joel Doria) was relieved as the chief of police of Pasay because of drugs. Now he is in Cebu,” the mayor said.
Asked what this implied, Osmeña said: “Your guess is as good as mine,” adding that he was worried for the Cebuanos.
Doria was Pasay City police chief when five persons who attended a Close Up Forever Summer Concert at the SM Mall of Asia grounds last May 22 died allegedly due to an overdose of “party drugs”.
President Rodrigo Duterte, who had just won the elections, slammed the police authorities for their negligence and warned of a massive reshuffling of members of the PNP.
Sought for comment, Doria told Cebu Daily News that he does not mind the comments of the mayor, adding that when he left the Pasay Police, the case was already solved and closed.
“Okay lang po. Nahuli naman yung suspect doon. At saka that time hindi naman po yung kung titingnan po kasi natin na-solve na at nahuli natin yung suspect. Siguro po mas maganda na magtatrabaho nalang kami. Kasi po ang concern natin is trabaho lang and we are concentrating on illegal drugs,” Doria said.
(We were able to arrest the suspect and the case was solved. Maybe we should just concentrate on our work especially on illegal drugs.)
He still wants to pay a courtesy call on the mayor but the latter was not interested, saying he had nothing to do with them anymore.
Doria said he will support the mayor for whatever tasks he may have for the police and for his plans for the city.
Meanwhile, five police officials in Cebu were relieved from their respective posts and were sent to rebel-infested areas in northern Luzon and Mindanao.
Dela Rosa ordered the immediate transfer of Supt. Rex Derilo, Supt. George Ylanan, Supt. Marvin Sanchez, Supt. Teofilo Siclot, and Supt. Rodolfo Albotra.
The July 15 order from Camp Crame does not explain the reason for the relief.
The officials, however, were tightlipped and merely said that they will follow orders.
The five officers have been in Cebu for at least 10 years.
“We have to pull out some policemen and relocate them to disrupt their illegal operations,” said Dela Rosa last Monday, adding that the services of the relieved officers are badly needed in areas where terrorists and gun-for-hire groups operate.
Supt. Derilo was directed to report to the Zamboanga Peninsula police office.
Derilo served as chief of the Regional Intelligence Division for years before he was was designated head of the Regional Logistics Division only last week.
He and Supt. Ylanan led the team that killed Central Visayas’ top drug personality Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz in Las Piñas City last June 17.
Ylanan, chief of the Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG) and deputy director for operations of the Cebu City Police Office, is headed to northern Mindanao.
Last week, Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, the PRO-7 director, ordered the mass relief of all 67 operatives of the Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (RAIDSOTF) and the RSOG despite having killed Diaz and another suspected drug lord Rowen “Yawa” Secretaria.
Both the RSOG and RAIDSOTF heads and operatives faced accusations of a rubout in killing the big-time drug personalities.
Doubts were also raised on the timing of their operations which were done barely a month before President Rodrigo Duterte assumed his post, and after Diaz granted a media interview and expressed his intent to identify those involved in the illegal drugs trade.
Aside from Derilo and Ylanan, Camp Crame also ordered the transfer of Supt. Sanchez, chief of the Firearms Explosives Security Service Agency and Guards Supervisory Section (Fessags-7), to Cordillera Region.
Supt. Albotra, head of the Provincial Intelligence Branch, is going to the Caraga Administrative Region in Mindanao, while Supt. Siclot of the Regional Headquarters Support Group is transferred to Cagayan Valley Region.
Sought for comment, Derilo said he just has to obey the order from Camp Crame.
“I have to follow the order,” he told CDN over the phone.
Ylanan was also direct to the point when asked to comment about his relief.
“Follow orders,” said the bulky police officer in a text message to CDN.
Taliño said the relief of the five police superintendents is part of the major revamp implemented by the PNP from the national police headquarters to the lower units.
“As the PNP chief said, we need to clear doubts. I’m not saying those relieved officers are involved in illegal drugs trade. We just need to fix the organization,” he said.
Taliño said that even before he assumed as PRO-7 director, Camp Crame already had the list of police officers who are to be relieved from their posts.
“I too was surprised when I saw the order,” he told reporters in an interview after the launching of the Lakbay Ligtas program between the PNP and Petron Corporation along Escario Street in Cebu City yesterday.
“But since we are policemen, we should be willing to be assigned anywhere in the Philippines and in whatever position,” he said.
The replacements of the five policemen have yet to be identified, said Supt. Renato Dugan, chief of the PRO-7 Regional Personnel and Human Resource Development Division.
“They were informed of their relief order, and I don’t know yet if there are more relief orders to come,” he said.
Police station chiefs
Meanwhile, Taliño approved the reshuffling of 75 police station chiefs in Central Visayas who failed to arrest half of the top 10 drug personalities in their areas.
“These are the low-performing police chiefs, and I hope they will work hard in their new assignments. Remember we were only given three to six months to eradicate illegal drugs,” he said.
All police stations chiefs, he said, will be evaluated every week.
“If they won’t perform well, I might as well relieve them from their posts because I also have to answer to the PNP chief,” Taliño said.
Last February, the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame ordered all police chiefs to submit the names of the top 10 drug personalities in their respective areas.
When Taliño assumed his post last July 4, he learned that of the drug personalities listed in Central Visayas, many have remained free since several station chiefs had not done anything to arrest them.
Based on the records of PRO-7, out of 126 police stations in Central Visayas, 75 failed to arrest the top drug personalities in their areas.
Thirty-nine of these non-performing police stations are spread across Cebu province, 18 others in Bohol, eight in Cebu City, five in Mandaue City, three in Lapu-Lapu City, and two in Siquijor./UP Cebu Intern Amy A. Macalinao
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