Reshuffling ‘bad for drug cases’

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Sunday, June 1, 2014


THE Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) asked the PNP organization to do something about their practice of transferring police officers who are investigating or acting as witnesses in drug cases.

RPOC chairperson and Bohol Gov. Edgardo Chatto said judges and prosecutors in the region are worried that the transfers have resulted in dismissal of cases because the police officials cannot make it to the hearing.

A policeman with a rank of an inspector assigned in Mindanao said he has to pay for his own trip for his monthly court appearances.

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“Official travel man unta na pero utong na lang, kita na lay gasto (That is supposed to be official travel, but I don’t have a choice),” the policeman said.

A station commander in Bohol, however, said he reimburses official travels if these are properly documented and supported by official receipts.

The monthly RPOC meeting also discussed the crime situation in the region, which showed a decrease in total crime volume from January to April this year compared to same period last year.

But there is an increase in crime volume in some police offices, like in Cebu City, Mandaue City and Bohol Province.

Central Command commander Major General John Bonafos, through an RPOC resolution, declared the whole Central Visayas as “conflict manageable and development-ready region (CMDR).”

He said Cebu still remains as an insurgency-free province.

Chatto said, “Prosecutors are saying, judges are saying and civil societies are saying that it would be difficult for police officers to religiously follow cases if they have been assigned to other areas and they have to pay for their own fares in going to court.”

He said they already raised the issue to the regional police and he expressed confidence the PNP will do something about it.

Bohol

In a PPOC-RPOC meeting in Bohol last March, Chief Supt. Danilo Constantino told the council the PNP is implementing a National Police Commission resolution prohibiting the transfer of personnel.

The station commander of Loon, Bohol, Senior Insp. Jacinto Mandal, said he reimburses the travel expenses of his men.

He said he need an authority to travel, a certificate of appearance and bus tickets or receipts from the officer.

Supt. Julius Caesar Gornez told the meeting that the crime volume for the first four months of this year is lower by 5.8 percent compared to same period last year - from 20,616 incidents to 19,420 incidents.

But seven police offices in Cebu Province, Cebu City, Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor had a 20 percent increase in their crime volume.

Bohol’s crime volume increased by eight percent while that of Mandaue City increased by one percent.

Cebu Province has the most number of crimes in the first four months of this year at 5,633 incidents. But its crime volume decreased by 19 percent this year.

That of Negros Oriental decreased by 12 percent, while that of Lapu-Lapu City decreased by 13 percent.

Siquijor’s crime volume is the lowest at 121 crime incidents, showing a decrease of 35 percent.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 02, 2014.

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