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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Editorial: Withdrawal of support

CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmeña has an interesting way of getting back in the good graces of the police in the region, the National Police Commission (Napolcom) and indirectly President Rodrigo Duterte, and in the process regain his control and supervision over Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) personnel: He does not want City Hall beat reporters to “spread lies.”

“I never withdrew it. Don't spread lies. What support did I withdraw?” he said in an interview when he dropped by the office of Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Noli Taliño to “say hello” to him last Monday.

The mayor actually started saying that after he decided to file a motion for reconsideration with the Napolcom to get back his deputation. That wasn't said when he issued statements through his Facebook account after Napolcom revoked that deputation when he was still in the United States for a medical leave. Instead, he boasted that he could still do his task of maintaining peace and order by creating a “neighborhood watch” in every barangay in the city.

Osmeña's “never withdrew” statement is vague. He should have answered point-by-point Napolcom's letter, which cited the following bases for its decision to withdraw his deputation:

“True to his pronouncement to withdraw his support, Mayor Osmeña had decided to stop giving allowances and rewards to new police officers who were newly assigned in the police office. He likewise ceased in supplying gasoline to police service vehicles and decided not to release the 15 patrol cars and three vans that were requested by the former chief of the Cebu City police station."

Besides, Osmeña's rant, which started last month when Camp Crame reassigned his preferred policemen from PRO 7 and the CCPO, was well documented. He wasn't vague when he announced his withdrawal of support from the police and the steps he had taken to ensure that top PNP officials would notice his displeasure. He even dared the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG) to sue him when one of its officials warned local government executives acting like him of the consequences of their action (or inaction).

So it is easy to see who wasn't truthful in all these. Then again, we may just have to understand Osmeña's predicament—and his pride.
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