Amid Sinulog, IEC preparations: CCPO director, 2 others removed ahead of polls

Bryner L. Diaz and May B. Miasco (The Freeman) - January 11, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - At least four key police officials in Cebu, including Cebu City Police Office director Senior Superintendent Marciano Batian-cela Jr., who is at the helm of the security preparations for the Sinulog and the International Eucharistic Congress, have been relieved effective January 9 upon orders of Camp Crame.

 Batiancela’s relief came as a surprise for Cebu City officials who claimed that they were not consulted about it.

Also affected in the revamp were Cebu Provincial Police Office director Senior Superintendent Noel Gillamac and Regional Public Safety Battalion-7 commander Senior Superintendent Clifford Gairanod.

Gillamac and Batiancela were reassigned to the Regional Headquarters Support Group-7 while Gairanod was named the new CPPO director. Batiancela, however, will remain the commander of Task Force Sinulog.

Superintendent Renato Dugan, chief of the Regional Personnel and Human Resource Development Division of Police Regional Office 7, said they received the order from Camp Crame yesterday. But the effectivity of the order was on January 9.

Senior Superintendent Benjamin Santos, a member of the PMA class 1991, will replace Batiancela.

Santos was previously the deputy chief for administration in Camp Crame.

Supt. Marcelo Dayag, from Police Regional Office-3, will replace Gairanod as RPSB-7 commander. Dugan said that the national headquarters also named Senior Supt. Jonathan Cabal as officer in-charge of Mandaue City Police Office.

Dugan clarified yesterday that there was no truth to rumors that PRO-7 director Chief Superintendent Manuel Gaerlan has also been replaced.

Senior Supt. Rey Lyndon Lawas who was promoted as the new deputy regional director for operations said that, as of yesterday, Gaerlan remains the top cop in Central Visayas.   

“Rumors are rumors, our RD is still Chief Superintendent Manuel Gaerlan,” Lawas said.

Dugan also explained that those affected by the revamp were due for relief because they were already considered overstaying, as they stayed in their position for more than two years already.

In fact, Dugan said there were 740 police officials nationwide who have been reassigned in preparation for the upcoming elections.

 Acting mayor Edgardo Labella has questioned the manner by which Batiancela was replaced. Labella said the Philippine National Police disregarded the procedures provided for under the law.

“I would like to bring to their attention on an existing law that has to be observed otherwise there is no use for having a law if the law is not followed or implemented,” Labella said.

Labella pointed out that under the Republic Act 6975 or the PNP Law, the mayor has the authority to choose his chief of police from the names of qualified officials submitted to him.

According to Labella, Santos was not among the names submitted for the city officials to choose from.

“Among others, Senior Superintendent Batiancela was among the five being recommended. After consultations with (suspended) Mayor Mike (Michael Rama), the Police Coordinating Advisory Council and those under the peace and order units, that in my capacity as the acting mayor, I chose Senior Superintendent Marciano Batiancela because I was convinced he was doing well in his performance as the acting CCPO chief,” he said.

Labella clarified that he is “not against” the appointment of Santos but proper procedure should be followed. — /FPL (FREEMAN)

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