Cebu City mayor pulls out allowances for Police Station 6

FOR failing to curb illegal gambling, all those currently assigned at Police Station 6 will lose their incentive allowances from the Cebu City Government.

Mayor Tomas Osmeña wants all police personnel of Police Station 6 replaced and their incentive allowance suspended effective this month until a new set of policemen takes over.

Under the annual budget of the City this year, Cebu City Police Office personnel with ranks Police Officers (PO) 1 to Senior Police Officers (SPO) 4 get P4,000 a month while Police Inspectors to Police Chief Inspectors get P6,000 each.

“There’s too much gambling. When there is too much gambling I’m sure that there is police protection,” the mayor told reporters yesterday.

He said gambling such as moli-moli, video karera and illegal swertres continues to proliferate in the area of responsibility of Police Station 6 in Barangay Sawang Calero.

Aside from the police, Osmeña said he knows that there are also barangay officials involved in illegal gambling.

Osmeña said Police Station 6 will not be singled out. Other police stations will also be evaluated once he gets a report involving their performance.

Reshuffling

In an interview yesterday, Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Director Joel Doria said personnel from the Police Station 6 have been reassigned.

The Police Station 6 has 56 policemen, four of whom are non-uniformed personnel.

Doria said there has been a reshuffling because of the campaign against illegal drugs, which means except for a few, the police personnel in Station 6 are new.

The most recent revamp took effect on the first week of November and affected Stations 6 and 5, he said.

Doria said that after addressing the problem on illegal drugs, they focused on illegal gambling.

He cautioned policemen under him to work hard not because of the incentives they get, but because it’s their duty.

They have sworn to be part of the police so they should rely on their salary, not on the allowance, Doria said.

He said relieving all the policemen of a particular police station is not possible because it will hamper the operations of the station.

A reshuffling is being carried out only not simultaneously so as not to paralyze police operations, he said.

Personal funds

Doria said he used his own money to properly dispose of 102 gambling machines last Sept. 19.

This, after an environmental conservation group warned them that improper disposal of the machines is hazardous because the broken glass and wirings of the machines contain hazardous chemicals.

The disposal of the gambling machines was handled by a private contractor.

Police Station 6 Chief Keith Andaya declined to be interviewed by reporters.

Doria urged his men to continue doing their job, with or without the promise of an allowance.

“It’s only an allowance. It’s a privilege. It’s not their right to receive it and it’s not mandatory,” he said.

Jail decongestion

Meanwhile, Osmeña also saw the need to decongest the detention cells in each of the 11 police stations in the city, including the City Jail.

Osmeña said the City has to help the prisoners because most of them have overstayed because they don’t have lawyers.

The mayor reiterated the need to build another jail facility, including the one he is proposing at the Inayawan Sanitary Landfill.

When the landfill is closed, Osmeña wants the property to be converted into a jail or a golf course.

But in his news conference yesterday, Osmeña said he is more supportive of the jail construction to prevent congestion.

He said that an overcrowded jail makes it easier for prisoners to sell illegal drugs to other inmates.

As a standard, Osmeña said inmates should be separated from each other to keep them from conniving.

Councilor Dave Tumulak, for his part, said that he has requested the City Prosecutor’s Office to immediately attend to the complaints submitted to their office to decongest detention cells.

As chairman of the committee on public order and safety of the City Council, Tumulak said he has requested the police to submit all evidence to the court to avoid the dismissal of the case.
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