CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama is questioning movements of police officials in the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO).
Rama, who just arrived from his trip in Japan, wants to know why Senior Supt. Mariano Batiancela was designated as officer-in-charge (OIC) of CCPO, replacing Senior Supt. Conrad Capa, when he was informed that there will be no movements in the hierarchy of the Philippine National Police (PNP) until a new PNP chief is appointed.
The PNP is currently led by OIC Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, who replaced then PNP chief Alan Purisima after his suspension and eventual resignation.
“Has there already been a new PNP chief? None. So why is there a movement? Who is making the movement. Is there a de facto chief PNP? I want to know,” said Rama in a news conference yesterday.
The mayor then pointed out that the one who is supposed to sign the reassignment of a police official is the chief PNP.
“Now who is signing? I want that fathomed. Sometimes, these people, they can’t just shove it down our throat. Who is playing God here?” he said.
Rama believes the movement has something to do with the upcoming 2016 national and local elections and that someone is behind it.
It was Chief Supt. Prudencio “Tom” Bañas, Police Regional Office 7 director, who designated Batiancela last Tuesday as OIC of the CCPO after Capa was designated executive officer of the Directorate for Integrated Police Office-Visayas.
Rama said he will hold Bañas responsible for the appointment of Batiancela.
He said though he still has full trust and confidence in Bañas, adding that he might have just been forced to do what he did.
Asked if he is not acknowledging Batiancela as OIC of CCPO, Rama said he just doesn’t like what is happening in the PNP hierarchy.
The mayor added that he wants to know Batiancela’s background.
On who he really wants to head the city’s police force, the mayor refused to give names.
“I am keeping my cards close to my chest,” he said.