3 DCPO chiefs appointed in a day

First, it was Col. Lito Patay, replaced by Col. Sherwin M. Butil, then latest to be designated is Col. Hansel M. Marantan
(From left) Col. Lito Patay, Col. Sherwin M. Butil, and Col. Hansel M. Marantan.
(From left) Col. Lito Patay, Col. Sherwin M. Butil, and Col. Hansel M. Marantan.(From left) DCPO/Facebook, PRO-Davao website, and Pimpila Elementary School - SDO Cagayan/Facebook

DAVAO City has just experienced another first in its history: three Davao City Police Office chiefs designated in a day, replacing one after another.

Police Colonel Lito Patay.
Police Colonel Lito Patay.DCPO

First, it was Police Colonel Lito Patay.

Col. Patay, as of the moment, has the shortest leadership period in the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) history after being sacked as the city director, only four hours following his official installation on Wednesday morning, July 10, 2024. 

The Police Regional Office-Davao Region (PRO-Davao) confirmed that Patay was installed without an official turnover ceremony at 7:40 a.m. on July 10.

PCol. Sherwin M. Butil
PCol. Sherwin M. ButilPRO-Davao website

However, the 18th DCPO director, who assumed office for four hours and 38 minutes, was replaced by Col. Sherwin M. Butil, former Chief of the Regional Information and Communications Technology Management Division. Col. Butil is the second Davao City police chief to be installed on the same day.

Prior to this, DCPO spokesperson Captain Hazel Tuazon shared with the Davao media that the command conference would be conducted immediately after Colonel Patay’s appointment. 

Patay was supposed to replace Colonel Rolando Suguilon who was appointed as temporary officer-in-charge (OIC) last May 23, 2024, following the controversial relief of Colonel Richard Bad-ang due to the ongoing motu proprio investigation conducted by the Regional Internal Affairs Service-Davao Region in relation to the deaths of seven individuals during "anti-illegal drugs" operations conducted from March 23 to 26. 

On July 6, several reports surfaced on social media that DCPO received an official order from the regional headquarters for Patay’s assumption into office.

However, Tuazon claimed in an exclusive interview with SunStar Davao that such information was still unverified, clarifying that Suguilon remains the OIC.

“Negative po. Wala pa tayong order (Negative. We do not have order yet),” Tuazon previously said.

Three days later, PRO-Davao confirmed that Patay would be inaugurated as DCPO chief.

PCol. Hansel M. Marantan.
PCol. Hansel M. Marantan.Pimpila Elementary School - SDO Cagayan/Facebook

Meanwhile, another memorandum order was provided to SunStar Davao Superbalita that another police official will be designated as Acting DCPO chief, in the name of Col. Hansel Marantan.

This memorandum order was released just a few hours after Butil was installed. The memo was verified to be coming from the Philippine National Police Headquarters in Camp Crame.

However, the Police Regional Office-Davao (PRO-Davao) did not confirm nor deny the order at first. PRO-Davao spokesperson Major Catherine Dela Rey said they are awaiting the issuance of the order.

“Kung Meron na po Saka lang Po ako maka confirm. As of now PCOL BUTIL Po Ang OIC (sic) (If ever we have received the order, that’s the only time we can confirm. As of the moment PCol. Butil is still the OIC),” Dela Rey said.

After several hours, Dela Rey sent a message to the media practitioners covering the police beat confirming Col. Marantan’s appointment.

“This is to confirm the designation of PCOL HANSEL M MARANTAN as the Acting City Director, Davao City Police Office, effective July 10, 2024. He replaces PCOL SHERWIN M BUTIL, the outgoing Officer-in-Charge of DCPO,” she stated.

Col. Marantan is the third to be designated as DCPO chief in just one day.

Since March 2024, DCPO has appointed five city directors, including Marantan, while several times the agency has conducted mass reshuffling and major shakeup of its personnel.

This includes the termination of 35 personnel including Bad-ang last May 22 as ordered by former PRO-Davao director Police Brig. Gen. Aligre Martinez.

PRO-Davao also detailed that the enforcement of the reshuffling of 19 station commanders last July 9 was part of the regional police director’s prerogative to reposition officers for improved service and not “politically motivated”, contrary to some speculations.

The move was also to improve police service and maintain peace and order in the region, according to the new PRO-Davao director, Police Brig. Gen. Nicolas Deloso Torre III. 

It can be noted that pursuant to Section 51 of Republic Act (R.A) No. 6975 as amended by Sections 62 to 64 of R.A. No. 8551, local chief executives have been granted substantial powers and responsibilities in police administration.

Under the law, the mayors or governors have the "authority to choose the chief of police from a list of five (5) eligibles recommended by the provincial police director, preferably from the same province, city or municipality: Provided, however, That in no case shall an officer-in-charge be designated for more than thirty (30) days”.

It should also be noted that officials appointed can be prerogatively terminated or removed based on their performance in fighting crimes.

“Provided, further, That the local peace and order council may, through the city or municipal mayor, recommend the recall or reassignment of the chief of police when, in its perception, the latter has been ineffective in combating crime or maintaining peace and order in the city or municipality: Provided, finally, That such relief shall be based on guidelines established by the Napolcom," the law added.

As of press time, PRO-Davao and DCPO have yet to release their respective statements regarding the pace of changing of commands at DCPO. DEF

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