Duterte says of suspension of Davao cops ‘abuse of power’

Davao City Mayor Baste Duterte says of suspension of Davao cops, adding that the disruptive actions are ‘disheartening’
Duterte says of suspension of Davao cops ‘abuse of power’
Macky Lim/SunStar File Photo

DAVAO City Mayor Sebastian Duterte criticized the suspension of Davao City Police Office (DCPO) personnel, including its city director, Col. Richard Bad-Ang, calling it "an abuse of power from higher authorities."

In a statement on Saturday, May 25, Duterte condemned the Philippine National Police's (PNP) decision to suspend the involved officers, relating it to a buy-bust operation in March this year. This operation came during his declared "war on drugs" in response to rampant drug usage and sales in some city communities.

"It's disheartening to witness such disruptive actions within our law enforcement agencies," said the younger son of former city mayor and former president Rodrigo Duterte.

He asserted that the officials had shown an unwavering commitment to their responsibilities. "There is substantial evidence supporting the assertion that the buy-bust operations were conducted within the bounds of the law," he said, adding that any misconduct allegations were unfounded and unjust.

Duterte highlighted that the DCPO has "consistently shown remarkable effectiveness" in maintaining peace and order in the city. 

Records show a significant 69 percent decrease in focus crimes from May 2023 to May 2024, reflecting the dedication and competence of the police force working with his administration.

A total of 35 Davao police personnel faced immediate administrative relief recommended by the Police Regional Office-Regional Internal Affairs Service (PRO-RIAS-Davao) following an investigation into the deaths of seven individuals during anti-illegal drug operations from March 23 to 26. 

The list includes six station commanders, five deputy commanders, 23 Police Non-Commissioned Officers (PNCOs), and former city director Colonel Richard Bad-ang, who served the DCPO for only two months. 

These officers are now assigned to the Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Section (RPHAS) headquarters.

Duterte cited Republic Act 6975, stating that city and municipal mayors should exercise operational supervision and control over PNP units in their jurisdictions. 

"My active involvement emphasizes my dedication to collaborating with law enforcement to maintain peace and order in Davao City," he said.

He argued that the decision to relieve the personnel contradicts the spirit of cooperation and mutual trust essential for effective governance and law enforcement. "I oppose any efforts to undermine the hard-earned trust between our community and law enforcement," Duterte added.

He emphasized that these developments highlight the dangers of unchecked authority and called for transparency and accountability. He also urged the immediate reinstatement of the unfairly relieved officers. RGL

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