POLICE Supt. Jovito Canlapan, acting police chief of the City of Naga, Cebu, has been relieved from his post a week after the City hosted the Central Visayas Inter-Regional Athletic Association (Cviraa).

Mayor Valdemar Chiong yesterday confirmed he received Canlapan’s relief last Monday.

But according to a letter sent by Senior Supt. Clifford Gairanod, Cebu Provincial Police Office director, Canlapan’s relief became effective on Feb. 8, or two days after the sports meet started.

Possible cause

Gairanod said it was the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 that ordered Canlapan’s relief.

Chiong said Canlapan’s relief may have been related to the robbery that took place in one of the city’s billeting areas hours before the Cviraa opened.

The letter sent by Gairanod to Chiong also provided three names to possibly replace Canlapan: Police Supts. Reycel Carmelo Dayon, Alvin Balio and John Clark.

Chiong said he was saddened by Canlapan’s relief, adding that he has yet to pick the latter’s replacement.

No free hand

The mayor said Canlapan had been active in the anti-illegal drug and anti-criminality campaign since he was appointed acting police chief last year.

Chiong said he was satisfied with Canlapan’s performance.

But while he respected PRO 7’s decision to relieve Canlapan, Chiong said he hopes he’ll be allowed to pick his own police chief.

Chiong lamented that he has not been given a free hand to choose a permanent police chief, adding that most of the police personnel assigned in the city are temporary.

Ako unta nga butangan ko nila ug dili OIC (I was hoping they’d assign a permanent police chief, not an (officer-in-charge). Kay kung matangtang na sila, ako maoy mabutang sa ngil-ad (That way, if they are relieved I won’t be blamed),” Chiong added.

Sun.Star Cebu tried to get Canlapan’s comment on the matter, but he refused to issue a statement, saying he “respects the decision of his superiors.”