BONTOC, Mountain Province – Concerned residents and various sectors of the province criticized the alleged poor decision-making of the leadership of the Mountain Province Police Office (MPPO) in unceremoniously relieving the chief of a Municipal Police Station upon the alleged verbal request of a local chief executive upon suspicion of alleged being involved in partisan politics.
Sources, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal, claimed that the decision of the MPPO leadership to unceremoniously relieve a chief of a Municipal Police Station upon the verbal request of a local chief executive of a municipality sends a wrong signal to local police chiefs because they can just be easily removed from their current positions of the mayors in their areas of responsibility simply file a verbal complaint with higher authorities without even validating if such reports are true and correct.
The sources questioned the MPPO leadership that when a municipal mayor from another town will file a verbal complaint against the chief of police in his locality, he or she will also be similarly relieved like what happened to the current case being discussed in public by the people of the province.
MPPO provincial director Senior Superintendent Clarence Casilio said that there was no chief of a Municipal Station who was relived because of electioneering and the situation was the MPPO requested all the municipal mayors to confirm their chiefs of police because they were all in acting capacity and that there was one mayor who did not confirm his chief of police and that he requested for the shortlist of qualified police officers from where he will select his chief of police.
In the case of Tadian Municipal Police Station chief Senior Inspector Eugene Cabay, Casilio explained that he was relieved a few days before the declared election period not because of electioneering or being partisan considering that the list that Tadian Mayor Anthony Wooden requested from the MPPO was submitted to the latter way back in December last year.
Sources claimed that rumors in the province are escalating that the reason why Cabay was relieved was because Mayor Wooden allegedly paid a visit to the MPPO and allegedly verbally requested the provincial director to relieve Cabay for his alleged being partisan for vouching for the integrity and credibility of a former police official now aspiring for the province’s congressional post.
The source added that with what happened, police officials in the province are demoralized because their provincial director who are supposed to stand by them always allegedly succumb to political pressure being reportedly employed by self-styled politicians who are trying to show the people that they can dictate upon the affairs of the local police force who are supposed to be non-partisan in the first place.
The source argued that there are more blatant electioneering and partisan activities being done by other police officials inside and outside the province but they were not unceremoniously relieved like what happened to Cabay which is an alleged indication of poor leadership on the part of the MPPO officials who always succumb to reported political pressures being employed by some politicians in the different municipalities.
By Dexter A. See