Cops involved in bloody drug war among 83rd Charter Day awardees

THREE police officials known for their bloody anti-drug campaign were given special awards for their contribution to Cebu City’s anti-illegal drug campaign during the 83rd Charter Day celebration Monday, Feb. 24, 2020.

Mayor Edgardo Labella gave the Mayor’s Special Award to Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas, former Police Regional Police Office (PRO) 7 director; retired Col. Royina Garma, former Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) director; and Maj. Chuck Barandog, former commander of the Cebu City Mobile Force Company (CCMFC).

The special award was for their fight against illegal drugs while they were still assigned in Cebu City and Central Visayas. Close to P1 billion worth of illegal drugs were seized and many drug personalities were arrested during their time.

During Sinas’ 16-month stint as director that ended in October 2019, the PRO 7 seized 189 kilos of shabu, 454 pills of ecstasy and uprooted 485 kilos of marijuana in about 10,000 drug operations.

Drug operations also resulted in 136 deaths, some of which are being investigated by the Commission on Human Rights.

During Garma’s one-year term as CCPO director that ended in June 2019, 3,000 anti-illegal drug operations were conducted, which resulted in the arrest of 2,134 drug users and 2,054 drug pushers and the deaths of nine persons.

It was during her leadership when five men in Barangay Malubog were massacred, and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency officer Earl Rallos, former Cebu City assistant prosecutor Mary Ann Castro and Capt. Delfin Bontuyan, a former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group 7 officer, were killed by still unidentified persons.

Garma’s biggest accomplishment in a single operation was the confiscation of 18 kilos of shabu in Barangay Inayawan on March 14, 2019.

Garma had a “sour” relationship with then mayor Tomas Osmeña, who accused her of being “part of the problem” of criminality in the city.

During the campaign period for the May 2019 midterm elections, Osmeña accused the police of dipping their hands in politics by “harassing” his allies: barangay and youth council officials.

Osmeña had also accused Barandog of harassing his supporters during the campaign period. He said Barandog was responsible for killing two tanods (watchmen) and a female supporter in Barangay Lusaran while the CCMFC served a search warrant in February 2019.

Weeks before the May 13, 2019 elections, the former commander of the CCMFC and Osmeña had an encounter at a checkpoint after Osmeña’s vice mayoral candidate, then city councilor Mary Ann de los Santos, called Osmeña for help after she accused Barandog’s men of harassing their convoy.

Other recipients of the Mayor’s Special Award were shipping magnate Chester Cokaliong, businessman Benjamin Sun Sr., Kenneth Cobonpue, Secretary Michael Dino, University of San Carlos, Sinulog Foundation Inc., Councilors Phillip Zafra and Dave Tumulak, Anton Perdices, Cary Santiago, Manuel Mendoza and Dean Decal.

“In different ways, they have made contributions to Cebu City in the field of business, peace and order, creativity and various fields of endeavor,” the mayor explained.

Labella explained that former PRO 7 director Brig. Gen. Valeriano de Leon, Acting CCPO Director Engelbert Soriano, Tumulak and Zafra and the SFI were also honored because of the successful Sinulog 2020 celebration.

Awards were also given to top real property tax payers SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SMPHI), Ayala Center Cebu/Ayala Land Inc., Skyrise Realty and Development Corp., Solinea Inc., Robinsons Land Corp., Cathay International Resources/ Federal Land Inc. and Waterfront Philippines Inc.

Top establishment awards were given to SMPHI, Aboitiz Energy Solutions Inc., Freemont Foods Corp., Cebu Holdings Inc., Metro Retail Store Group Inc., Makati Development Corp., Solinea Inc., 8990 Housing Development Corp. and South Portal Properties.

Wipro, Accenture Inc., Qualfon Philippines Inc., JP Morgan Chase Bank, Lexmark Research and Development Corp., Flour Daniel Inc., TPPH-FHS Asia Inc., Sykes Asia Inc., Asian-I Office Properties and TG Universal Business Ventures were awarded as top Philippine Economic Zone Authority-registered establishments.

Local band Missing Filemon was also honored as an outstanding institution in the field of music. Dr. Resil Mojares was given the Order of Rajah Humabon while Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III and Crisologo Caparoso were awarded as outstanding individuals for bringing “great honor for Cebu in general and for himself in particular virtue.” (PAC / MVG)


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