NEW police directors will sit today in Mandaue City, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, and Cebu Province, as part of a major revamp ordered in Central Visayas.

Camp Crame ordered yesterday the relief of Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) Director Clifford Gairanod, Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Director Benjamin Santos, Lapu-Lapu City Police Office (LCPO) Director Arnel Libed, and Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) Director Jonathan Cabal.

These officials hold the rank of senior superintendent, the equivalent of a full colonel in the Army. They started their stints last January, during the time of then Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Chief Supt. Manuel Gaerlan.

When asked about the relief, PRO 7 Director Chief Supt. Noli Taliño said, “I think it is part of the major revamp in the PNP. Inumpisahan sa taas, pababa nang pababa (It started from the top and cascades to lower units).”

Senior Superintendent Cabal was about to respond to reports about a suspected drug pusher who was killed in Barangay Mantuyong past 3 p.m. when he got a text message informing him about the relief order.

“Of course kasama naman sa change yun... Hindi naman masama ang loob ko (That’s part of the change. I am not disgruntled). It’s a welcome development,” the outgoing Mandaue City police officer-in-charge said.

Cabal added he was proud of several accomplishments like helping secure the International Eucharistic Congress last January and the May elections, and the decreasing number of crimes in the city compared to the previous years.

“The President would not be successful if society is not one with him in his vision,” Cabal added.

In a separate interview, Senior Superintendent Libed said he has not received any information about his relief as chief of the Lapu-Lapu City Police as of 5 p.m. yesterday.

“We are ready anytime, anywhere... Six months lang ako dito. I have begun to love the place,” Libed said.

New faces

The order stated that the officers were supposed to report to the personnel holding and accounting unit in Camp Crame, said Senior Supt. Renato Dugan, the PRO 7 personnel division chief.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa signed the memorandum.

Dugan said the new chiefs will be Senior Supt. Joel Doria from the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), who will head the Cebu City office; Senior Supt. Romel Cabagnot from PRO 8, to head Lapu-Lapu City; Senior Supt. Roberto Alanas from NCRPO, to head Mandaue City; and Senior Supt. Jose Macanas from Highway Patrol Group, to serve as Cebu provincial police chief.

Gairanod said he will obey the order.

From his start in January until June, the CPPO conducted 703 drug operations that resulted in the arrest of 1,184 personalities and confiscation of 4,995.13 grams of shabu worth P58.974 million.

At least 1,368 cases were filed in court.

The CPPO ranked first in the fight against illegal drugs in Central Visayas, said Gairanod.

As this developed, a local mayor questioned the decision to replace all 67 operatives in police units that were supposed to focus on going after big-time drug personalities.

‘Winning’

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said he did not understand the logic behind the relief of 67 operatives of the Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group (Raidsotg) and the Regional Special Operations Group (Rsog).

“Why don’t they relieve me also? I don’t understand the logic,” Osmeña said in a press conference.

Of the 67, 14 officers were from Raidsotg and 53 from Rsog.

As far as he knows, Osmeña said, those personnel were mostly new and they were doing a good job, compared to how well they were performing against their predecessors.

“It’s very simple. It’s like you have a basketball team that is winning and you’re going to change the players?” he said.

The two units were in the forefront of the anti-narcotics campaign in recent months, resulting in the deaths of suspected drug lords Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz, Rowen “Yawa” Secretaria, and David Anunciado.

Despite the development, Osmeña said he will still continue giving financial assistance to the police force if they can kill criminals, particularly those involved in the illegal drug trade.

“I will continue giving,” he added.