TOLEDO City Mayor John Henry “Sonny” Osmeña is asking for the appointment of a police chief of his choice after complaining that there is no police officer who was clearly designated as such, and one who can conduct anti-drug operations.
He said he suspects that a police officer in his town is linked to a big-time drug lord, that is why no one is afraid of the authorities and no drug suspect is surrendering to the police.
“I am interested in getting a chief of police who has balls, who can go after the last drug pusher in the city of Toledo,” the mayor said during a press conference, adding that he is already exasperated after trying all means to get a new police chief.
He said he has been trying to schedule a meeting with newly installed Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Noli Taliño since Monday, but the general is still busy.
He said the City now has three police officials and several drug suspects who are not afraid of authorities.
“The Liberal Party officials interfered in Toledo as far as the choice of chief of police is concerned,” Osmeña said, explaining that this is the reason “there is no clear police chief.”
Out of desperation, he said he is willing to request his cousin, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, whom he hasn’t talked to in years, to have SPO1 Adonis Dumpit transfer to Toledo as temporary police chief while waiting for an officer of his choice. He said he will also accept retired Army General Jovito Palparan, who is in jail at present.
“I don’t care, I would appreciate it if they send Palparan and Dumpit to Toledo because we need a chief of police who has no qualms of having these kind of people in the funeral parlor,” the mayor said, referring to drug suspects.
When sought for reaction, Taliño said he will discuss the matter with the mayor.
In a press conference yesterday, Osmeña said he began his first term as mayor with Supt. Michael Bastes as city police chief. Bastes was replaced by Supt. Ricky Delelis, then Supt. Ali Baron, a native of Toledo. He said he was satisfied with their performance.
But before the last election, he alleged that a Liberal Party candidate asked retired police general Marcelo Garbo to replace the city police chief, and Sr. Insp. Rico Emperoa was later assigned to the city.
Osmeña complained that time so the PRO 7 designated Supt. Samuel Mina as police chief, who was later replaced by Supt. Fructoso Lim, the former Danao City chief of police.
“There are three chiefs in Toledo. There is Lim, Emperoa and Mina,” he said.
Osmeña said when he confronted Mina over the management of the police force, the official pointed to Lim as the chief of police.
And because of this confusion, he said that unlike in other cities, drug pushers in Toledo are still on the run.
When sought for comment on Osmeña’s request about Dumpit, Tomas said the matter is up to Dumpit to decide on.
“Actually, the secret is that I’m his bodyguard. I’m the one protecting him up to a certain extent. It’s very dangerous for him to stay outside… At least he is protecting me and I’m protecting him. For his safety, he stays here,” said Tomas, who helped Dumpit post bail.
For his part, Dumpit said Osmeña should give the task of running after drug pushers and users to rookie policemen.
“I’d rather not take that job. It should be given to new police officers, anyway there are many of them,” he said in Bisaya.