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Gov, 18 mayors stripped of control over cops

Zamboanga del Sur Gov. Antonio Cerilles is on the list for alleged abuse of authority and 18 mayors for suspected involvement in illegal drugs. File

MANILA, Philippines — Nineteen other local government executives have been stripped of operational supervision and control over the police by the National Police Commission (Napolcom).

Zamboanga del Sur Gov. Antonio Cerilles is on the list for alleged abuse of authority and 18 mayors for suspected involvement in illegal drugs.

 No other details on the case of Cerilles were available as of last night.

Separate resolutions released yesterday and signed by Catalino Cuy, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) officer-in-charge and Napolcom chairman, identified the mayors as Ferdinand Aguinaldo of Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte; Andres Lacson (Concepcion, Tarlac); Edgardo Pamintuan (Angeles, Pampanga); Jefferson Khonghun (Subic, Zambales); Erlon Agustin (Camiling, Tarlac) and Mariano Blanco (Ronda, Cebu).

Crisinciano Mahilac of Sinacaban, Misamis Oriental as well as Michael Gutierrez of Lopez Jaena, Donjie Animas of Sapang Dalaga, Jason Almonte of Oroquieta City, Juanidy Viña of Concepcion and Ezel Villanueva of Calamba, all in Misamis Occidental, are the other mayors.

Mayors Pablo Matinong Jr. of Santo Niño, South Cotabato; Christopher Cuan (Libungan, North Cotabato); Albert Palencia (Banga, South Cotabato); Leonida Angcap (Midsalip, Zamboanga del Sur); Niever Cabunalda-Rosento (El Nido, Palawan) and Abraham Ibba  (Bataraza, Palawan) are also on the list.

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“Based on the consistent pronouncements made by… President Duterte...the involvement of a local chief executive in illegal drugs… constitutes an act inimical to national security,” the resolutions stated.

“The exercise of the duties, obligations, powers, and prerogatives vested unto the...local chief executives as Napolcom deputy under Section 51 (b) of RA 6975 (DILG Act) as amended are hereby suspended accordingly,” the Napolcom resolutions stated.

‘Absurd’

When asked for comment, Pamintuan, League of Cities of the Philippines president, said his inclusion on the list was ”absurd and out of this world.”

”The list is baseless and devoid of any factual evidence,” he said.

Pamintuan said the Napolcom and Philippine National Police should be careful in releasing the names of alleged narco politicians ”so as not to unecessarily impugn the character of innocent individuals.”

Lacson said he was “shocked” that he was among those stripped of control over the police. “This is injustice…I do not know how my name landed on the list,” he said.

Lacson said the accusations against him could be politically motivated.

Five Southern Tagalog mayors – Eulalio Alilio of Lemery, Batangas; Raul Palino of Teresa, Rizal; Antonio Halili of Tanauan, Batangas; Cecilio Hernandez of Rodriguez, Rizal; and Loreto Amante of San Pablo, Laguna – earlier lost their deputation as Napolcom representatives also due to their alleged drug links.– With Ding Cervantes

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