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Monday, January 21, 2019

Nalzaro: Denouncing Napolcom’s move

IF HE can get a slot in today’s privilege hour in the House Representatives, Cebu City North District Rep. Raul del Mar will deliver a privilege speech questioning and denouncing the move of the National Police Commission (Napolcom) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) against Mayor Tomas Osmeña. Del Mar said he will ask his staff early this morning to communicate with the House secretariat if he can get a slot in the lineup for those who will avail themselves of the privilege hour as he only decided to bring up the matter over the weekend after reading the issue in the local newspapers and asking his friends in the media about it. He is referring to Napolcom’s decision stripping the mayor of his operational control and supervision over the police and pulling out his police security escorts after the hizzoner “withdrew” his support from the local police.

This “former political has-been” withdrew City Hall’s support from the local police after police pulled out his favored police officers and installed a city director without consulting him. He stopped giving rewards to policeman who will kill a drug personality during a legitimate police operation, withheld their monthly honorarium, withheld the release of their gasoline allocation, withheld the distribution of police mobile units even if these were purchased during the time of his predecessor and recalled City Hall’s firearms issued to some policemen.

Because of the mayor’s drastic action, the Napolcom en banc, in a resolution, decided to strip him of his operational and supervisory control over the police as the agency viewed these acts as inimical and detrimental to the campaign against criminality. Meaning, the mayor can no longer choose his chief of police and “poke his finger” as far as police matters are concerned. The Police Regional Office (PRO 7) pulled out the mayor’s security escorts, including his “favorite” SPO1 Adonis Dumpit and reassigned them to Bohol. Police also gave City Hall an ultimatum to renew the licenses of their firearms or face confiscation.

Del Mar viewed all these police actions against the mayor as “too harsh” and not within the bounds of the law. Del Mar said he will question the legality of Napolcom’s withdrawal of the mayor’s deputation as the commission’s representative in his jurisdiction.

“Mayor Osmeña is not guilty of engaging in acts inimical to national security or which negates the effectiveness of the peace and order campaign as alleged.

“Moreover, Napolcom did not conduct the consultation with the governor and congressmen concerned. In this case, the two congressmen of Cebu City, as required by the law, particularly Section 64 of Republic Act (RA) 8551, or The Philippine National Police Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998. Napolcom cannot do this to our mayor of Cebu City,” Del Mar’s privilege speech partly read.

Section 64, RA 8551 (Automatic deputation of local government executives as Commission’s representatives) states: “Governors and mayors, upon having been elected and living qualified as such, are automatically deputized as representatives of the National Police Commission in their respective jurisdiction. As a deputized agents of the Commission, local government executives can inspect police forces and units, conduct audit, and exercise other functions as may be duly authorized by the Commission.’

Section 65 of the same law that amended Section 52 of RA 6975, or Establishing the Philippine National Police Under a Reorganized Department of the Interior and Local Government and for other purpose of 1990, states: Section 52, suspension or withdrawal of deputation--Unless reversed by the President, the Commission may, after consultation with the provincial governor and congressmen concerned, suspend or withdraw the deputation of any local chief executive for any of the following grounds; a) Frequent and authorizes absences; b) Abuse of authority; c) Providing material support to criminal elements or d) Engaging in acts inimical to national security or which negate the effectiveness of the peace and order campaign. Upon good cause shown, the President may directly or through the Commission , motu proprio, restore such deputation withdrawn from the local executives.”

Del Mar, who is an ally of the mayor’s Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan, said Napolcom, or the PNP, should have consulted him and South District Rep. Rodrigo “Bebot” Abellanosa because that is what the law provides. Even consultation not necessarily an approval. He said police cannot question the mayor if he stops giving rewards to policeman who kills a drug suspect because that is his personal money. As far as the monthly allowance is concerned, the mayor made it clear that only those newly assigned in the city will not be provided. While the mayor, Del Mar said, put on hold the release of the newly purchased vehicles intended for the police but those running now and their gasoline allocation are still provided by the City. Are these acts inimical to the City’s campaign against criminality, Del Mar asked? If the Napolcom and the PNP can do this to a mayor in a highly-urbanized city how much more to mayors in second-class cities, he said. Well said, Mr. Congressman. Good luck. I hope that your message changes the minds of those people out there.

(bobby@sunstar.com.ph)
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