Councilors divided on replacing city cop chief

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014


AS THE spate of robberies and summary killings have taken their toll on the peace and order situation in Cagayan de Oro, two city councilors wanted the city's police director Senior Superintendent Graciano Mijares replaced from his post.

Councilors Teodulfo Lao Jr. and Roger Abaday shared the same sentiments toward the surge of unsolved cases of criminalities that continue to hound the city.

"With the rising criminality in the city without resolution, there should be a change of leadership and reorganization [in the police]," Abaday, committee on public utilities chair, told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro Tuesday afternoon.

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Lao also said that removing Mijares from office will offset the city's incompetent image of security.

"I have nothing personal against him [Mijares]. I have known him as a gentleman and a humble person. It's just that we need [someone] who will attend to the safety needs of Kagay-anons and the city," Lao told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro by phone Tuesday.

Lao, committee of energy chair, is calling the Police Regional Office in Northern Mindanao (PRO-10) to choose a more efficient leader in the police.

"I want a leader for Cocpo (Cagayan de Oro City Police Office) that is aggressive, visible and responsive to whatever call," he suggested.

However, Ramon Tabor, committee on police, fire and public safety, would not want to replace the city police director.

"We can't expect a 100 percent performance from our law enforcers because if that's the sole criterion no police officer will be left in service. Despite the limited resources, he still has achievements," Tabor said, adding that Mijares also contributed to the peace and order situation in the city.

Replacement not a solution

"I still have to entrust my confidence to Mijares' team. Replacing him is not the solution to the problem," he furthered.

Lao agreed with Tabor's stance, however, he said Mijares still has to prove more to remain in his post.

Tabor was one staunch official who challenged Mijares to increase the conviction rate of crime suspects in the city. He also hinted the failure of police to solve the “summary” executions must have been a handiwork of the latter.

Lao told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro that he plans, in his special report, to propose the replacement of Mijares in a council meeting come Monday.

Lao who is optimistic his proposed resolution gets approved in the council meeting on Monday, August 4, will endorse his petition to Camp Alagar, the seat of the police leadership in the region, and Mayor Oscar Moreno.

With regard to the final decision, Abaday said: "The move to change the Cocpo director depends upon the pleasure of the chief executive."

Meanwhile, the office of city mayor refused to give comment on the issue since it has not heard anything about it yet from the councilors.

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro called Mijares Tuesday, but the calls weren’t returned.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 30, 2014.

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