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For failing drug campaign: 75 Central Visayas police chiefs to lose station posts

Mylen P. Manto, Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - July 21, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - For "failing" to perform in the campaign against illegal drugs, more than half of the chiefs of police in Central Visayas stand to be relieved from their posts.

Senior Superintendent Rey Lyndon Lawas, Police Regional Office-7 deputy director for operations, yesterday said 75 of the 126 police station chiefs in Region-7 are in danger of being transferred to other police stations within the region.

"We found out about 60 percent of police stations failed to meet the target being set by our regional director with regards to our campaign against illegal drugs," he said.

He was referring to the promise the police station chiefs made last February to draw up a list of 10 drug personalities in their respective areas of responsibility and launch operations against them, capturing or neutralizing at least five of those in the list.

Lawas said that of the 75 station chiefs, 39 were in Cebu province, 18 in Bohol province, eight in Cebu City, five in Mandaue City, three in Lapu-Lapu City, and two in Siquijor province. 

"Some chiefs of Cebu…will be transferred to Bohol, Bohol to Cebu. Some will be rotated within Cebu or exchanged," he said, explaining how the reshuffling would be done.

Lawas, who heads the committee Chief Superintendent Noli Taliño, PRO-7 director, to look into the reasons of the station chiefs of police, said they took into consideration why the police officials failed to meet the minimum requirement of 50 percent of their target list.

"Chief of police nga bag-o gi-consider na whether ma-relieved or not, but we traced (also) asa sila gikan kay tingali gibalhin sila kay low performance," Lawas said.

"Some police stations walay na-arrest, some duha and some daghan kaayo nadakpan sa drugs but failed to (get those in their)…target list," he added.

Lawas, though, said that the reshuffling is not a form of punishment but an "eye opener" for the police station chiefs to work hard and perform, further saying that there is no time to relax in the fight against illegal drugs.

He did not think removing the police officials and transferring them somewhere else would demoralize them.

"Low morale? Dili man tingali. If imong tan-awon, as human being, slightly ma-low morale ka, but if nagtan-aw ka nga 'trabaho man ni nako', makaana ka 'this would serve as challenge for me to prove my worth.' If ma-low morale ka kay gibalhin ka di nalang ka motrabaho, you better get out from the service," he said.

Lawas said that six months starting July, there will be another evaluation of the performance of the chiefs of police.

Meanwhile, at the Cebu City Hall, Mayor Tomas Osmeña said he is worried about the programs the police force will implement in the city, a few days after he announced that he was withdrawing support to the police campaign.

In a press conference yesterday, Osmeña said he declared to stop his fight against illegal drugs because of the continuing movements in the police organization.

"That's why I'm not involved. Sila nalang magbuot. I'm telling you,… I'm really crying for the city," he told reporters.

This came after over 20 of policemen, including officials, were ordered transferred and replaced with new officials.

Osmeña said he supposedly already grouped the policemen, which have already gone after alleged drug personality, Jeffrey "Jaguar" Diaz, Cebu City's third-ranked drug personality Rowen "Yawa" Secretaria, among others.

"We worked hard to put things together, only (for them) to say 'okay rewind, erase'. Now, I hope the people can understand how I feel. (They said) 'cooperate, we need you'. They just need our money. That's it," Osmeña said.

"It's not my loss, it's the loss of the City of Cebu," he added.

In the same press conference, he also answered Philippine National Police Chief Ronald 'Bato' Dela Rosa is asking him not to abandon the police force.

"I didn't abandon my people. I'm sticking it out for them. Walang iwanan. They (Philippine National Police) are the ones who said 'please don't abandon us?' So, I'll just ask him, who is abandoning who?" the mayor said.

Asked if he will not consider supporting the police's peace and order program for the benefit of the citizens of the city, Osmeña admitted being worried.

"I'm very worried about the peace and order program. I really am. But, you know, it's best that there's only one hook. Kon sila magbuot, sila nalang…let them run it," he said.

He asked residents of the city to understand his position.

As to the police vehicles that the former administration has purchased to serve as patrol cars, the mayor left the police to fend for itself.

"You know, I'm just giving them a free hand. But they will not raid our coffers anymore," he said, adding that the police could ask for financial support from the national government.

"They are the national government. You know, it's not the barangay Tabunan that's asking for it. They are the national government; they have 10 times the money than us," he said.

"So, if they want to assume responsibility, why don't they be the ones to put their money where their mouth is?" he added.

Osmeña said he will focus his energy in resolving other issues in City Hall, such as budget pruning, garbage, traffic, among others. (FREEMAN)

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