THE Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) has appealed to the public to stop the issues caused by statements of one of its officials, stating that it has resulted in confusion between its coordination with the City Government.
In a statement released on Monday, August 2, Cocpo spokesperson Major Evan Viñas called for unity in the fight against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) instead of condemning and criticisms.
Viñas said everyone has a role to play in overcoming the pandemic, adding that it is by working together that everyone can emerge from the health problem stronger, wiser, and better connected.
"The Cagayan De Oro City Police Office under the leadership of Police Colonel Aaron Montalan Mandia appeals to the general public to halt the issues regarding the statements made by one of our police officials that resulted in confusion between the local government units," Viñas said.
"Rest assured that the PNP (Philippine National Police) and LGU are still in coordination to prevent the spread of the virus," he added.
The Cocpo spokesperson also assured that the police will do its best to assist those who are affected in implementing the strictest lockdown.
Viñas also said that apart from the Covid-19, the "infodemic" of misinformation is also everyone's enemy, as he encouraged the public to "promote facts, hope and solidarity over despair and division."
"The Covid-19 pandemic is one of the most dangerous challenges this world has faced in our lifetime. It is above all a humanitarian crisis with severe health and socio-economic sequences. The virus is unprecedented in our lifetime and requires an unprecedented response. Therefore, instead of condemning/ criticizing each other, let's unite on how to contain the spread of this terrible disease and saving our economy," Viñas said.
"To overcome the coronavirus, we need to urgently promote facts, hope, and solidarity over despair and division. We are at war with Covid-19, we need to fight it like a war," he added.
But Mayor Oscar Moreno said there is something wrong with the press statement from Cocpo.
Moreno said that while he does not have a problem with working together, Cocpo's press statement made it sound like the police and the local government unit are "co-equals."
"Nabasa nako tong press statement sa PNP. While I thank them for doing that pero naay bigger issue which is unsa ba ang relasyon between the PNP and the local government unit? Kay sako, the way the statement was written, it is like both are co-equals," Moreno said.
"I would strongly suggest nga basaha og ayo ang Republic Act 8551. Unsa'y relasyon between the mayor and the police," he added.
The mayor cited that the mayor exercises operational supervision and control over the police, while the police have administrative supervision and control.
Moreno also stressed that the police are "national in scope but civilian in character" and they are "not part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines."
"Mao lagi na primero when somebody reported to me nga si Gonda openly criticize me sa regular media, I was stunned. You don't do that. Ang mayor ang naay operational supervision and control. Mao tong insakto tong comment sa EOC (Emergency Operations Center) nga is this a mental health issue. Na unsa naman sya," Moreno said.
"When I read the statement, something's wrong. Wala ko'y problema with working together pero their understanding, the way the statement was written, murag out of tune kay ang ila is they are co-equal to the LGU. That is not true," he added.