PNP chief unfazed by Tomas' 'threats'

POLICE Director General Oscar Albayalde chided Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña for acting like a child when it comes to the latter's treatment of the local police.

Osmeña had threatened to withdraw City Hall's allowances to police officers if the strafing incidents on the houses of Sudlon 2 Barangay Captain Pricillo Albores and Sinsin Barangay Captain Aurello Lascuña, who are allied to him, were not solved in 10 days.

"Sometimes, yung iba sa atin (some of us), we act like a child. Nasa atin yun, eh (It's up to us). That's their personality. We have to live with that,” Albayalde said.

The police official did promise an investigation.

As to losing the City's financial support, he said the Philippine National Police (PNP) has funds that can provide for the needs of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) and its lower units, including the 11 police stations.

The budget for gasoline and other necessities are taken from the PNP's maintenance and other operating expenses, he said.

Albayalde said Osmeña has a history of withdrawing support from the police. If the latter does it again, the Department of the Interior and Local Government will conduct an investigation, he said.

"If they don’t want to give support, we can support our people on the ground," he said. "If they don't want to support the PNP, that's their problem, not ours.”

Osmeña has been at odds with CCPO Director Royina Garma, who reportedly has close ties to Malacañang.

According to the mayor, the police masterminded the attacks, but Albayalde countered that Osmeña's camp should present evidence to prove his claim.

In a Facebook post addressed to Albayalde, Osmeña said police summoned two barangay captains and made them report to (Vice Mayor and mayoral candidate Edgardo) Labella's office where they were told to change their support from the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK), “even just half.”

He said police raided the house of another BOPK captain without properly serving the warrant.

The mayor said he has pictures and video footage “of everything.”

“Would you like to see the evidence? Should I present it on Facebook or shall we do it in court?” he said on his post.

Osmeña asked Albayalde what the latter was doing on allegations that the CCPO was being used in politics.

He said drivers of motorcycles-for-hire in the mountain barangays had their motorcycles confiscated by police without being issued a TOP (temporary operator's permit) or a violation sheet. He said they were instead told to go to Labella's office.

“General Abayalde, according to your police in Cebu, it is okay for people to break the law as long as Labella endorses them... The police in Cebu are being used in a final desperate attempt to support a losing political candidate. You ultimately have command responsibility of all the police in Cebu. What are you going to do about this, General?” the mayor said.

As to the rise in shooting incidents in the city, Osmeña wanted to know what Albayalde was doing about the problem.

“There are more shootings in Cebu now than ever... Your city chief (who someone VERY reliable said you described as 'untouchable') refuses to even report to me what’s happening in the city I am responsible for. How’s the gun ban coming along?” he said on his Facebook post. (RVC)


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