AFTER he announced that he will stop his efforts in the anti-drug campaign, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña announced he will cut another incentive to some police operatives in the city.
In his regular news conference, Osmeña said that the City Government will no longer provide allowances to the new police officers who will be newly assigned to the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), including Senior Supt. Joel Doria, its new director.
Those who were assigned to the CCPO before and were not transferred will still get their allowances from the City, Osmeña said.
As that developed, Osmeña also turned over yesterday P100,000 as a reward to the police who recently killed two suspected drug personalities. It was the last time he would do that, he said.
Mayor Osmeña decided earlier this week to stop giving rewards to police officers who kill suspected drug pushers, after learning that Senior Supt. Benjamin Santos Jr. would be replaced.
The mayor had first expressed his disappointment after Chief Supt. Patrocinio Comendador Jr. was relieved from his post as head of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7.
Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, who replaced Comendador, said that the fight against all forms of crime, including the illegal drug trade, will continue even without rewards.
“With or without rewards, we will continue with our mandate, enforcing the law,” he told reporters yesterday, after the installation of the new police directors of Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), Lapu-Lapu City Police Office (LCPO), Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) and Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO).
He admitted the rewards can help officers, but added they are motivated by the support of President Rodrigo Duterte and Philippine National Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa.
Osmeña explained yesterday that the reward was not meant to commend the police for killing criminals.
Any policeman who shoots and kills will undergo an investigation.
“And this is the reason why policemen don’t even like to get into an encounter. The money is not really a reward, it’s an assurance to the police that at least there is something there for them when they put their lives on the line,” Osmeña said.
The mayor, who has been trying to cut costs at City Hall, announced yesterday the plan to stop giving allowances to the police, starting with those newly assigned to the city.
“Let them worry about their own problems. I have enough of that already. Mag rest muna ako. I don’t like to think about it because it’s really very stressful. You know you spend so much time, effort, focus, you like to build them a castle and then suddenly they said, ‘Okay, change everything’,” Osmeña said.
Since the police are no longer his priority, Osmeña said, he will still have to weigh whether or not the City will still continue giving additional vehicles to the police and paying for gasoline.
“It all depends. I’m not going to cut it off but I think it’s about time they start supplying the gasoline. Sila na magbuot, di ba?” Osmeña said.
The City Government has been supplying gasoline to most of the police force’s vehicles.
Aside from the brand new Toyota Fortuner and Mitsubishi Adventure sports utility vehicles that were earlier turned over to the police, Osmeña earlier planned to give 40 Toyota Hi-Lux vehicles to them that were previously used by the barangay captains.
“Let them start on their own,” he said.
Under the budget for 2016, a total of 1,288 police officers assigned in all police stations and units under the CCPO are supposed to receive P4,000 a month as an allowance from City Hall.
Police officers with ranks of inspector, senior inspector and chief inspector get P6,000 monthly. The city director used to get P8,000, while his two assistant city directors received P7,000 monthly each.
But asked if he will reconsider his decision if the new police officers do well in their tasks, Osmeña said, “There’s a possibility for everything.”
For his part, Chief Superintendent Taliño said the revamp in the police organization is nationwide and all offices are affected, including Camp Crame, the national headquarters.
The police general, however, said they still they need the support of local officials in Central Visayas.
“We are all-out. We are giving our full support to them (local officials),” said Taliño.
When asked about Osmeña’s displeasure with Santos’s relief, Senior Supt. Joel Doria, the new Cebu City police chief, said he did not expect to be appointed as CCPO director.
“Sumunod lang po kami kung ano ang utos ng Crame (We are just following Camp Crame’s orders),” he said.
Doria said he will set a schedule to speak with Mayor Osmeña, possibly next week.
“Magtatrabaho po tayo, mandated task po natin yan (We will keep working),” he said.
Aside from Santos, the other officials who were installed as directors were Senior Supt. Jose Macanas for CPPO; Senior Supt. Romel Cabagnot for LCPO; and Senior Supt. Roberto Alanas for MCPO.
The three officials replaced Senior Superintendents Clifford Gairanod, Arnel Libed and Jonathan Cabal, respectively.
Taliño congratulated the past directors for their accomplishments and reminded their successors that there should be no let-up in the campaign against crime and illegal drugs, which the Duterte administration aims to suppress within the year.
The official expects himself to be relieved if he fails in the fight against illegal drugs. He also warned he would relieve the new police directors if he is not satisfied with their performance after a few months.