Cebu News

Bato asks Tomas: Please do not abandon cops

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Even as he assured the police can survive without the assistance of the city government, PNP Chief Ronald 'Bato' Dela Rosa asked Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña not to withdraw his support to them in the fight against illegal drugs.

"Please do not abandon us," Dela Rosa said.

Dela Rosa, who was in Camp Sergio Osmeña Sr. for his command visit yesterday, apologized to Osmeña believing the mayor was offended by the revamp of police chiefs including the Cebu City Police Office director Superintendent Benjamin Santos.

He explained some of the policemen affected by the nationwide revamp were relieved from their posts as part of the internal cleansing of the PNP.

"Tungod kay makita sila sa mga tawo, sa kadalanan nga naa gihapon sila diha, dili ni motoo ang taong bayan sa atong kaseryoso sa atong kompaniya. Sige'g yawyaw atong chief PNP nga maningkamot ta'g laban sa droga. Sige'g yawyaw atong presidente nga magtrabaho ta og maayo unya naa lang gihapon si PO3 kuan diha nga kahibalo ta nga kusog na manakop unya kwartahon, kusog mang hulidap," Dela Rosa said.

Dela Rosa explained they are only doing their jobs and they did not take for granted the support they received from the city.

"Pero kung nasakitan siya sa nahimo namong desisyon mangayo ko og pasaylo, sorry, we need you. I hope magbag-o imong huna-huna sa amoa, pasensya na lang, we have to do this," he said.

However, if the mayor will not change his mind, Dela Rosa said they cannot do anything about it since the mayor has full control of government resources.

"Ayaw kaguol, we can survive, the PNP can survive although we need them so badly," Dela Rosa said.

"Pasenya na, Sir. Please do not abandon us in this fight... I'm pleading your indulgence. We are not your enemies," he added.

Police Regional Office-7 Director Noli Taliño also said aside from the support from the government, the police are also receiving support from private sectors adding that there is a group that helps the PNP in its fight against drugs.

Dela Rosa said there is still more reshuffling to do in Central Visayas, which he described as weak in the campaign against illegal drugs.

During his visit yesterday he awarded 15 policemen for exemplary performance in the campaign against drugs. He also signed a Memorandum of Agreement with retired fiscals, judges, and private lawyers who will offer free legal services to policemen who will be facing court cases.

Step up fight vs drugs

During his speech, Dela Rosa also told PRO-7 officials and officers to step up in the fight against drugs.

"…Nakita nako ang significance diri sa PRO-7. It's because diri nidaug si Lapu-Lapu against Magellan. Kinahanglan kitang tanan mahimong Lapu-Lapu para matumba nato ang problem sa drugs," he said, adding the problem in Cebu is the same as the problems in other provinces. 

Dela Rosa said he is not just in the position to punish but also to reward deserving policemen.

"I am a father, a father who is willing to punish kahit masakit sa akong kalooban nga pasakitan ang akong mga anak pero if only to discipline you, to shape up the organization, I am willing to do that," he added.

He added he is a leader who is willing to go to jail with his men if need be.

"You have a chief PNP who is willing to go with you to jail anytime, dili tamo pasagdan. I am willing to fight with you, in fact we are not allowed to carry firearms pagkaganito ang suot nato pero tan-awa (showing his firearm tucked in his waist), nagda ko'g pusil, ako ra'y chief PNP siguro nag-tuck-in og pusil kay kung makitaan nako tong drug lord nga nakalista sa inyong lugar pusilon nako diritso, I don't care if mamatay ko, I only leave once in this world isang beses ra ko ma-chief PNP kaya itodo ko na ito," he said.

Dela Rosa also touched on narcopolitics saying in Cebu there are mayors allegedly involved in drug operations and a list of these mayors was already submitted before the president. 


Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña did not answer directly if he accepted the reason of Dela Rosa for relieving Santos.

He earlier said he was upset by the reshuffling order issued by Camp Crame relieving PRO-7 regional director Patrocinio Comendador and Santos, saying both of them were his partner in his anti-illegal drugs campaign.

Osmeña also did not answer specifically if he will still give the 15 Toyota HiLux vehicles promised to CCPO when Santos was still in command.

"I am not thinking about the police don't ask me anything about the police, my priority is the rest. I know traffic, CITOM need some, barangays need some. Like I said police have no priority, no priority," he said.

Last Thursday, Osmeña said that he will stop his anti-illegal drugs campaign as well as the giving of cash rewards to policemen who can kill drug lords.

When asked for comment regarding the Department of Interior and Local Government rule that a mayor who does not help in the campaign against drugs can be held liable for neglect of duty, Osmeña said, "Go ahead, sue me. I have the will to answer, go ahead, akong gi-challenge. I have more than anyone else, relieve me; akong challenge sa DILG," he said. (FREEMAN)


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