Duterte fires Bacolod police chief for drugs
Senior Superintendent Francis Ebreo was outside the party venue when the announcement was made, taking charge of the President’s security. He and his co-officers were ordered to report to Duterte’s office in Malacañang at 2 p.m. today.
Duterte fires Bacolod police chief for drugs
Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star) - January 14, 2019 - 12:00am

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — President Duterte again did the unexpected when he unceremoniously fired the Bacolod City chief of police and four other officers, right in the midst of a private birthday celebration.

“I’d like to know if the chief of police is here. If you are here kindly stand up because you are fired as of this moment… In your involvement in drugs and making the people of Bacolod miserable, I am relieving and dismissing you from the service as of now, Senior Superintendent Francis Ebreo,” the President said in his speech last Saturday during the birthday party of Leo Rey Yanson, chief executive officer of Vallacar Transport Inc.

Duterte linked Ebreo—along with his deputy for administration Supt. Allan Macapagal, deputy for operations Supt. Ritchie Yatar, Supt. Nasruddin Tayu-an and former Station 3 chief Senior Inspector Victor Paulino — to the illegal drugs trade in the city and its environs.

Ebreo was outside the party venue when the announcement was made, taking charge of the President’s security. He and his co-officers were ordered to report to Duterte’s office in Malacañang at 2 p.m. today.

Western Visayas region police chief Chief Supt. John Bulalacao said he immediately relieved the four (Tayu-an was reportedly sent earlier to Mindanao) and reassigned them to the Personnel Holding Center in Iloilo City.

Although he admitted getting surprised by Ebreo’s inclusion, as the latter had several achievements in the campaign against illegal drugs, Bulalacao promised to investigate the allegations. He added that he has been receiving reports about the activities of the other officers mentioned by Duterte.

Last year, about 50 policemen in Negros Occidental were also linked to the drug trade and reassigned to Mindanao.

“But these persons that I have mentioned have something to do with the interest of the city... you are protecting or you are in cahoots with the drug syndicate in the city,” Duterte, who has been firing and shaming incumbent and retired police officials whom he accused of coddling drug lords, said. 

Among the incumbent and former police officers he accused of involvement in narcotics were Joel Pagdilao, Edgardo Tinio, Marcelo Garbo Jr., Bernardo Diaz and Vicente Loot, who is now mayor of Daanbantayan town in Cebu. They have denied having ties with narcotics syndicates and have expressed belief that the President was fed with wrong information. 

Duterte won the presidency by landslide in 2016 on the platform of curbing illegal drugs and corruption. He had promised to put an end to narcotics trade within the first six months of his term but admitted later on that it was not doable because of the extent of the problem. 

More than 5,000 people have died since the President launched his brutal war against illegal drugs, worrying human rights groups who claim the campaign emboldens policemen to commit extrajudicial killings. Officials have denied this and insist that the President does not condone criminal acts and abuses. – With Alexis Romero, Emmanuel Tupas, Gilbert Bayoran 

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