Police chief reduces number of cops at Capitol-A A +A
Saturday, January 5, 2013
POLICE Regional Office (PRO)-Central Visayas Director Marcelo Garbo Jr. will grant Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama’s request to lessen the number of police security personnel at the Cebu Provincial Capitol.
Rama has said police troops at the Capitol might create a bad impression of Cebu to tourists.
“That is a good suggestion of Mayor Rama. We will definitely reduce it (the number of policemen),” said Garbo.
Garbo said from 50 policemen at the Capitol last week, he will reduce the troops to 20 this week.
Police have been guarding the Capitol building since Dec. 19, when Gov. Gwen Garcia refused to yield to the suspension order issued against her.
“As they can see the pattern, we already lessen it. From the very start, there were over 200 policemen then we cut it to 50, and we’ll have to reduce it again, of course,” said Garbo.
Garcia, for her part, said she’s not threatened by the statement of Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale that cutting off water and power supply to her office is one option to force her to leave her office.
Magpale also said people who visit Capitol today will have to show identification cards to the police since it is weekend.
“This is also for the protection of the suspended governor,” Magpale said.
“I am still the duly elected governor of Cebu. As such, I am entitled to this office which includes the operation and maintenance of this office,” Garcia said.
Garcia said Magpale is destroying the image of Cebu with her statements.
Twenty barangay captains from Argao visited Garcia in her office to show their support yesterday.
Garcia said barangay health workers suggested helping pay for electricity and water with their honorariums, if it will come to that.
“If they stoop down to the level of asking me to pay for the energy and water consumption, they seem to have forgotten that for the past nine years I have done my very best to push this province to greater heights and developments,” Garcia said.
With the coming elections, Garbo said Garcia’s police escort will also be recalled on or before Jan. 13, as a Commission on Elections (Comelec) rule involving politicians with police escorts.
“If the police will not abide, then I will exercise my authority as mayor and perform operational supervision and control of Capitol grounds. I don’t want to create a fuss but it is only a reminder,” Rama said.
“I want to make it very clear that I don’t want more policemen at the Capitol. I don’t want to see the Capitol (looking) like a prison. I don’t want to the city to look like it is under siege. They might think that Cebu City has a peace and order problem,” he said.
Sinulog Foundation Inc. Executive Director Ricky Ballesteros visited the governor’s office yesterday to ask Garcia if she can dance during the Sinulog.
Garcia said she hopes she can still perform during the Sinulog to pray for a favorable response to her petition for a temporary restraining order before the Court of Appeals.
On Jan. 10, an oral argument will be done for the petition.
Ballesteros said that last year the Province donated P3 million to the Sinulog foundation.
Ballesteros said they will accept whatever assistance Capitol will give this year.
He said he will also visit Magpale.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 05, 2013.