THE police director of Central Visayas said he respected Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña’s decision to stop giving incentive allowances to the Police Station 6 personnel.
Chief Supt. Noli Taliño said that the mayor’s order is valid and that it is up to Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Director Joel Doria to relieve the personnel of the station, who number nearly 60.
“The allowance that the City Government gives is a privilege. Kung tatanggalin ni mayor dahil nga hindi nagtatrabaho ‘yung pulis, discretion ni mayor yun. Kung ‘yun ang paraan para magtrabaho ang pulis, well, then it is OK (If the mayor takes it back because the police aren’t working, that’s within his discretion),” Taliño said.
As that developed, several barangay officials in Cebu City denied that they were involved in illegal gambling.
Barangay Captains Antonio Caruzca of Pahina San Nicolas, Abraham Desamparado of San Nicolas Proper, and Julius Guioguio of Pasil all said that they coordinated with the police on curbing illegal activities, including gambling, in their villages.
For his part, Taliño said the police should not depend on allowances.
“With or without the allowance, dapat tuloy-tuloy ang trabaho natin kasin iyan naman ang mandate natin (we should continue to work because that is our mandate),” he said.
“Hindi dapat magpaapekto ang mga pulis natin kasi kung hindi sila magtatrabaho, ako mismo ang magpapaimbestiga sa kanila. Pasalamat lang tayo na may nagbibigay ng allowance sa atin (It shouldn’t affect the police because if they stop working, I will personally make sure they get investigated. We should just be thankful if any allowance comes our way).”
Taliño said that Doria can decide whether it is feasible to transfer the Police Station 6 personnel simultaneously. He also said, however, that he would prefer that the transfers be staggered, so that the newly assigned officers can still be guided by their seniors before the latter move to another assignment.
Taliño said he had instructed the units not to forget to fight illegal gambling.
Osmeña made the move after the police allegedly failed to stop illegal gambling in Barangay Sawang Calero, which falls under the jurisdiction of Police Station 6.
The Police Station 6 has 56 police officers, four of whom are non-uniformed personnel.
Last week, Doria said, about 90 percent of the station personnel had been relieved and transferred to other assignments, on the mayor’s instruction.
Osmeña has alleged that in Sawang Calero, forms of gambling such as moli-moli, video karera and illegal swertres continue to proliferate.
Interviewed separately, the captains of San Nicolas, San Nicolas Proper and Pasil also denied that they were protecting illegal gambling operators.
What it covers
Their statement came after the mayor said in his news conference last Tuesday that he knew there were barangay officials involved in illegal gambling.
Osmeña also recently announced that he wanted all police personnel of Police Station 6 replaced and their incentive allowance suspended effective this month, until a new set of police officers will take over.
Apart from Barangays Pahina San Nicolas, San Nicolas Proper and Pasil, the other barangays under Station 6 include Sawang Calero, Suba, Duljo-Fatima, and Calamba.
Desamparado has denied the presence of illegal gambling activities in his village although there are other barangays under Station 6, where it is rampant.
“I never permitted such illegal activities in my barangay,” Desamparado said.
For his part, Guioguio admitted that there are still operators of illegal gambling in his barangay, which include moli-moli, video karera and illegal swertres.
However, whenever they operated against them, Guioguio said operators have managed to hide their gambling machines because they had hired lookouts against barangay tanods and police.
“I’m willing to face any investigation. The barangay has been doing something against it because it is our responsibility and mandate to the people,” said Guioguio.
Caruzca supported the statement of Guioguio, saying the Barangay Pahina San Nicholas is helping the police in carrying out operations against illegal drugs and gambling.
As to the move of Osmeña to replace all the police personnel of Station 6, Caruzca said it was unfair.
“They are doing well in terms of their performance in general,” he said.
Councilor Joel Garganera shared the sentiment, saying that Police Station 6 is one of the top-performing stations of Cebu City Police Office (CCPO).
Garganera, who is also chairman of the Police Advisory Council, said they are supportive of the station because they are impressed with their achievements.
Because of the mayor’s announcement, personnel of Police Station 6 with ranks Police Officers (PO) 1 to Senior Police Officers (SPO) 4 will lose P4,000 in monthly allowances from the City, while police inspectors to chief inspectors will lose P6,000 each.
In another development, Doria relieved 26 officers under Police Station 5 in Carbon last Nov. 9, a day after the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency raided a drug den, arrested 13 users, and rescued a 17-year-old girl.
The den was near the barangay hall of Ermita.
Doria said he transferred operatives and beat patrol members because they were overstaying in the police station.
Chief Insp. Clark Arriola, the station head, was not part of the relieved officers because the oversight committee of the Police Regional Office 7 has the final say on his fate.
Since August, at least 40 police officers were relieved from Police Station 5. Their replacements came from the Regional Public Safety Battalion 7.
Doria said the relief of officers will continue if they perform poorly in the campaigns against illegal drugs and gambling.
“Our assessment of the performance of the police officers is continuous,” he said in Tagalog.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 17, 2016.
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