FIFTY individuals failed to return the firearms issued to them by the Cebu City Government, almost two weeks after Mayor Tomas Osmeña ordered their recall. The mayor ordered the return of the firearms issued to members of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), city councilors, department heads, barangay officials and City Hall employees for an inventory last July 15.
His directive stated that the firearms should be returned five days upon receipt of his order.
“The firearms should be returned because there is an order from the competent authority. Kung di gyud (If not), we will refer the matter to the City Legal Office for appropriate action,” said Ronald Malacora, General Services Office (GSO) chief.
Malacora said the City issued 95 firearms. Recipients also included prosecutors, judges and personnel of the Registry of Deeds.
As of July 27, only 45 had heeded the mayor’s order.
According to GSO records, among those who have yet to return their firearms are Councilor Sisinio Andales, former councilors Richard Osmeña and Sylvan “Jack” Jakosalem, former mayor Alvin Garcia, Kalunasan Barangay Captain Nunilon Monares, Mabolo Barangay Captain Reynaldo Ompoc, Kasambagan Barangay Captain Jose Lim Jr., Parian Barangay Councilor Alan Dilao, Mambaling Barangay Councilor Estella Rodolfo and Kalunasan Baarangay Councilor Oliver Ocampo, among others.
Eight city employees who have yet to return their firearms, 25 from the CCPO, seven from the judiciary and one from the Registry of Deeds.
According to Malacora, Osmeña did not include in his order the firearms of prosecutors and judges but the memorandum was still sent to them so their guns will be included in the inventory.
Malacora yesterday met with the mayor, who just came back from a family vacation in Japan, to give an update on the latter’s order.
Asked if the mayor had specific instructions for him about the matter, Malacora said Osmeña instructed him to return the firearms to the police after these are inventoried.
“If the policeman is still at the CCPO, he will get his City-issued firearm back. If not, we’ll give it to someone else,” he said in Cebuano.
For employees and barangay officials, Malacora said the firearms will be reassigned but the mayor will decide whom to give them to.
In another development, the CCPO turned over three City-issued vehicles that were included in the recall for inventory.
Two Toyota Fortuners and one Mitsubishi Montero that were used by former CCPO director Senior Supt. Benjamin Santos, deputy chief for operations Supt. George Ylanan and deputy chief for administration Supt. Artemio Ricabo have been returned to the GSO.
Santos was relieved from his duty, while Ylanan was transferred to the Police Regional Office 10 in Northern Mindanao.
In a radio report over dyHP, Osmeña said he will recall some of the vehicles that had been issued to the CCPO. He said he made the right decision to his withdraw his support from the CCPO because the Philippine National Police issued additional vehicles to its men. “At least, kinahanglan gyod motabang ang national, ngano man kita ra (the PNP should also help, why should it only be the City)? Akong ipang-recall uban (I’ll recall other vehicles),” he said in the radio report.
CCPO Director Joel Doria said he has been using a vehicle from the Mobile Patrol Group since he assumed office.
“When I arrived in the office, I let them return the City-issued vehicle because there was a recall order,” Doria said in an interview with Sun.Star Cebu, referring to the Toyota Fortuner assigned to Santos.
Doria said it doesn’t matter why type of vehicle he is using now.
“Serbisyo po tayo kahit anong type ng sasakyan (We’ll render our service whatever the type of vehicle we’re using),” he said.
He recently visited the police stations of Guadalupe, Labangon, Mambaling, Pardo, San Nicholas, Carbon and Waterfront.
Ricabo, for his part, said he will also use his personal vehicle to perform his duties.