DID the second highest official of the Philippine National Police (PNP) visit Cebu yesterday to campaign for the administration’s candidates in the May elections?
Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr. told reporters that his visit was part of his farewell tour of regional police offices in the country, as he is set to retire this week.
“It would be disrespectful for me if I won’t go back to Cebu and pay respect to the Cebuanos. I have loved the Cebuanos. I learned a lot in my almost four years stay here… Region 7 is in my heart, that’s why I visited once again to talk about good governance,” said Garbo, who has been in police service for 38 years.
The official was then director of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 when the suspension order was issued against then governor Gwendolyn Garcia in late 2012.
Garcia’s camp had accused Garbo of being used by the Liberal Party (LP), and of using the police force against the LP’s political rivals.
Past 7:40 a.m., the deputy PNP chief for administration and his party arrived at the Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) headquarters in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City.
Garbo was met by Chief Supt. Manuel Gaerlan, PRO 7 director.
Garbo then left for Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte.
When reporters asked him if he was campaigning for LP, Garbo said he only discussed “integrity and good governance in the PNP” with some officials of the CPPO and Cebu City Police Office.
“I told them to stand by their principles. Whatever it is, they should keep their principles,” he said.
Garbo also told his personnel to give weight to the PNP’s performance governance system and Oplan Lambat-Sibat, a scientific approach to capture repeat offenders.
He said the local party affiliated with the United Nationalist Alliance of Vice President Jejomar Binay should not be afraid of him.
“I don’t play politics. You knew me when I was your regional director. Let us not play politics and PNP should not be involved in politics,” Garbo said.
Garbo said his stint as PRO 7 director was instrumental to his rise in the PNP hierarchy.
“Ang kailangan natin sa kapulisan hindi kailangan natin ng magaling at matalinong polis (We don’t need geniuses in the police force). (That’s ) not my gauge of a police officer. Si PO1 Juan dela Cruz, iisa lang aking pananaw (only has one objective). Number one, dapat masunurin siya sa batas (he should follow the law). Number two, dapat maganda ang kanyang pananaw lalo na sa pagseserbisyo (he should have a positive outlook in serving the public),” he said.
Garbo said he plans to go into business and support his wife after he retires. He also said he will not enter politics in 2019.
“I’ll be the driver of my wife,” he said.