Cebu gets 44 patrol jeeps: Non-LP mayors confirm no political overtones

(The Freeman) - August 17, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines- No political overtures were heard in the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s distribution of police patrol jeepneys yesterday, said some of the mayors who attended the turnover ceremony in Laguna.

The distribution at Camp Vicente Lim was spearheaded by DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, who was earlier endorsed by President Benigno Aquino III as Liberal Party’s standard bearer in 2016 elections.

Asturias Mayor Alan Adlawan, of One Cebu Party, dispelled reports that the event was made as avenue for Roxas to solicit the support of the mayors.

He shared with The FREEMAN that Roxas confined his speech to encouraging the Philippine National Police and local government units to work together in maintaining and solidifying peace and order in their respective jurisdictions.

“Wala ra may pamulitika, normal ra ang iyang mensahe,” he said.

Tuburan Mayor Democrito Diamante, president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines in Cebu, said the vehicles were distributed to all mayors regardless of their political affiliations, noting that almost all mayors in Cebu flew to Manila to attend the ceremony. Diamante is an LP member.

He thanked DILG for the patrol jeep which, he said, is also of great help during calamity. The PNP will take charge of the transport of the vehicles to the province, he said.

When asked why the turnover had to be in Laguna instead of Cebu, Diamante said that was meant to hold the ceremony at a time.

The vehicles were handed over to the local chief executives, PNP officers from the provinces of Cebu, which received a total of 44 units, Quezon (39), Bulacan (21), Nueva Ecija (27), Palawan (23), Occidental Mindoro (11), Oriental Mindoro (14), C, and Zamboanga del Norte (25).

 According to DILG statement, the jeeps are part of the 1,490 patrol vehicles that will be distributed to all the local government units nationwide under the PNP’s Capability Enhancement Program.

The program aims to lower the crime incidents and empower the country’s police forces and local governments.

 It is also in line with the nationwide implementation of the PNP’s OPLAN Lambat-Sibat, a campaign which employs “a deliberate, programmatic, and sustained approach” to crime reduction.

Politically motivated?

 But the other mayors who did not attend the ceremony believe otherwise.

 Malabuyoc Mayor Narciso “Lito” Creus suspects that the distribution of patrol cars to Cebu mayors was politically motivated.

 “Duna gyod ta’y suspetsa nga duna ni pamolitikhong katuyuan,” he said.

 Balamban Mayor Ace Stefan Binghay also questioned the timing since it is already election season.

 Regardless of the motive, however, Binghay admitted that the patrol jeeps would be very helpful.

 “Timely or dili basta naa tay nadawat from the national government,” he said. The patrol car, Binghay said, would really enhance their mobilization efforts considering that they lack vehicles.

 Creus, for his part, said the good thing about the aid was it was given “fairly.”

 “Wala’y discrimination kay gitagaan gyod tanan local government units no matter what political color we belong to,” he said.

 Creus and Binghay said the new patrol cars will greatly help their respective communities in responding to emergencies and better serve their constituents. Both are allies of One Cebu Party.

 The mayors said it was not the first time LGUs receive vehicles from DILG. They recalled that sometime before 2010, DILG also distributed vehicles at its regional office here.

They were not present during the distribution in Laguna yesterday. Binghay was represented by his vice mayor, while Creus was represented by the chief of the Malabuyoc police.

Police Regional Office-7 director, Chief Superintendent Prudencio Tom Bañas, was thankful for the DILG assistance.

 “This is already a great help. You know we really lack equipment especially for our transportation,” said Bañas. — with Ma. Fatima R. Secuya/FPL  (FREEMAN)

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