POLICE Regional Office 7 Director Debold Sinas said the checkpoint that the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) conducted near the house of Mayor Tomas Osmeña in Barangay Guadalupe was legitimate.
It was allowed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), he said.
“It so happened that in a very long time, it was the first time a checkpoint was set up in their area. Why, are they exempted from checkpoints?” Sinas asked.
He refused to comment on Osmeña’s statement that the police are acting as goons of Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, his opponent in the mayoral race.
“It was just a legitimate police operation. On how he sees it, bahala na siya (it’s up to him). Wow, police terrorism. Puwede magsabi politician’s terrorism (Can I also say politician’s terrorism)?” Sinas said.
Sinas said they are impartial with their actions and they do not conduct checkpoints and patrols to intimidate Osmeña.
On Monday, April 22, another ally of Osmeña, Calamba Barangay Captain Victor Quijano, accused the police of taking pictures of his house and the closed circuit television cameras in their compound on Sunday, April 21.
In his Facebook post, Quijano said some of the police officers who stepped inside their compound were in uniform. Some of them covered their face with a mask.
“I was confused by what they did. They went inside for no reason at all,” Quijano said in Bisaya.
CCPO Director Royina Garma, who is on official leave, asked Quijano to report the incident to the police station or the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.
She said Quijano must present evidence, which is needed for the filing of complaints.
As for their checkpoints, Garma said they are just doing their job.
She said that they often choose to hold checkpoints in areas that could serve as an escape route for criminals.
Garma denied Quijano’s allegations that the police took photos and wore masks. She said the presence of the police officers in Calamba was part of their crime prevention campaign as the village is a known haven for drug pushers.
“What crime did the police commit when they walked outside the house? They’re just not used to the police’s presence in their village. These days, our police enter the alleys. The times have changed,” she said.
According to Osmeña, the police officers who went to Quijano’s residence were the same personnel who set up the checkpoint near his house in Guadalupe during the Holy Week.
He accused Labella of masterminding the checkpoints.
Labella denied Osmeña’s accusation. (From FMD, AYB & PAC of SuperBalita Cebu, KAL)