“BRAZEN and an outright lie.”
This was how Senior Supt. Jose Macanas, former Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO), described the claim of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa that he received payola from the latter’s son, suspected drug lord Kerwin.
“How could one so cavalierly invent a story knowing it to be completely false amazes me. But knowing that Espinosa is a discredited local government official whose one foot is already in jail, figuratively and literally, should give us a clue,” he said.
Macanas, who “agonized” whether to respond to the accusations, broke his silence yesterday through a press statement circulated by his lawyer Frank Malilong.
The police official was relieved by Camp Crame and replaced Senior Supt. Eric Noble. He is now being investigated.
Macanas said he “carefully built a reputation of integrity and honesty” and he is “very sad that such reputation has been effectively destroyed by the rantings of a condemned evil man.”
“Right now, I wish to just simply have the time to formally clear my name from this accusation and get back to ‘war’ the soonest. I am comforted by the fact that I have never associated myself with any known criminals before and have no records of similar accusations in my more than 30 years of police service. Even the way I managed my recent and previous offices can be verified,” he said.
Macanas was the director of Ormoc City Police Office (OCPO) when Kerwin and 12 of his cohorts were arrested in March 5 last year and the operation was a joint effort with Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Region 8. Macanas was with the Highway Patrol Group before his transfer to OCPO.
When he was still new in the OCPO in 2014, he discovered there were police officers connected with Kerwin’s group. He initiated administrative charges against them and some of whom went absent without official leave.
In the same year, an anti-drug operation against Kerwin’s men led to death of two civilians. The suspect was killed inside an illegal cockfight arena.
After the arrest in 2015, the police charged the suspects with attempted homicide and illegal possession of explosives, a non-bailable offense.
“Proteksyon ba ang tawag mo sa pangarap na mabulok sila sa kulongan (You want them to rot in jail, is that protection)?” said Macanas.
The official said he was disappointed the cases against Kerwin were dismissed “in spite of the sufficient evidence that we presented.”
The motion filed by the CIDG 8 to reconsider the court’s decision was denied.
“I was so disheartened. I requested for reassignment back to HPG,” said Macanas.
But even when he was already with the HPG he “initiated extra efforts” to have Kerwin’s group “neutralized through collaboration with concerned police units.”
The efforts against the group continued to the last election period after Macanas heard that Mayor Espinosa would run again. He said his actions are well-documented and he will submit this to any investigating body.
Meanwhile, the head of the Cebu Provincial Anti-Illegal Drug Office (CPADAO) was given assurance of support by Noble.
Ivy Durano-Meca, the CPADAO director, visited Noble yesterday morning and the two talked about the Provincial Government’s program against illegal drugs.
For his part, Noble admired the Capitol’s program.
“Nakita ko, kompleto na (I saw it, it’s complete),” he told reporters yesterday.
The police official said they will focus on the reduction of supply of illegal drugs in the community by going after the dealers.
Noble will visit Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III today.
For his part, Macanas said his relief was just “procedural” and it should not affect the CPPO’s momentum against illegal drugs.
“So, I am urging all the focus teams to extend the same support the next provincial director and to never stop or even slow down from pursuing their remaining targets. They must be more than motivated knowing that, in many ways, more will fall victims to illegal drugs if projections are not met,” he said.”