Sara blind on motive of 3 DCPO chiefs appointment in 1 day

Vice President Sara Duterte facing the  media on Thursday morning, July 11, 2024, at Brokenshire Medical Center on Madapo Hills, Davao City.
Vice President Sara Duterte facing the media on Thursday morning, July 11, 2024, at Brokenshire Medical Center on Madapo Hills, Davao City.Zoelah Kristine Alkuino, AdDU Intern

VICE President Sara Duterte said she does not know the motive behind the changing of city directors at the Davao City Police Office (DCPO).

Duterte told the media on Thursday morning, July 11, 2024, at Brokenshire Medical Center on Madapo Hills, Davao City, that she does not know whether the act of appointing three DCPO chiefs in a day is power-tripping. However, she stressed that Dabawenyos will always remain law-abiding citizens.

“Wala ta kabalo ug unsay motive ana pero kita diri sa Davao City we are law-abiding citizens (We do not know what the motive behind this, but here in Davao City, we are law-abiding citizens),” she said. 

The vice president also said that claims that Davao City’s increasing crime rate is not accurate, stressing that under her tenure as Mayor of Davao, DCPO has twice been recognized as the best city police in the country.

“Dili siguro accurate ang gina-ingon nga nagataas ang krimen dinhi sa atoa especially that known ang Dabawenyos as law-abiding citizens (It is not accurate to say that crime rates are rising here, especially since Dabawenyos are known for being law-abiding citizens),” she said.

Recalling the events of July 10, 2024, Davao City witnessed a historic day as three city directors were appointed in a single day, one after another. Initially, Police Colonel Lito Patay assumed the role, only to be replaced after four hours by Col. Sherwin M. Butil, former Chief of the Regional Information and Communications Technology Management Division.

However, another memorandum order disclosed to SunStar Davao Superbalita named Col. Hansel Marantan as the Acting DCPO chief. It was confirmed later by Police Regional Office-Davao Region (PRO-Davao) Catherine Dela Rey in a message.

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Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, said in a Facebook post on July 10, 2024, that DCPO has been recognized as the nation’s Best City Police Office of the Year and cited the decision by the National Headquarters of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in 2012 to honor other offices.

Dela Rosa highlighted the strong community support and cooperation of the local government unit (LGU), fair and friendly media, and a supportive business sector in Davao City. He praised the disciplined Dabawenyos who are vigilant in upholding local ordinances.

“The love and respect between and among them is not hard to come by. So, if Davao City Police is demoralized, Davao City community is also demoralized and upset,” he said. 

“The simple request from the People of Davao City to the PNP hierarchy is fair treatment, that is not even a demand, not yet!” he continued. 

Meanwhile, Davao City Councilor Luna Maria Dominique Acosta expressed grave concern in a Facebook post, saying that the recent changes in DCPO’s city directorship "matter greatly to Dabawenyos."

“The abrupt change in leadership, from Suguilon to Patay to Butil to Marantan — four Chiefs of Police in less than 24 hours — shows a lack of decisiveness; a lack of concern for the integrity of the office; and a lack of planning for the long term security of Davao,” she said.

Acosta anticipated significant adjustments in the office due to these changes, which could impact crime levels in the city. She emphasized Davao City’s responsibility to maintain its reputation as one of the safest cities.

“We hope that the mass reshuffling will improve the city’s peace and order, not sabotage what we have worked hard for these many years,” she said. 

As chairperson of the peace and public safety committee, Acosta called for decisive and effective action, stressing the need for DCPO to prioritize officer careers and uphold city safety and security.     

Previously, 35 personnel including former city director Colonel Richard Bad-ang were relieved due to the current motu proprio inquiry by the Regional Internal Affairs Service-Davao Region into the deaths of seven people during "anti-illegal drugs" operations from March 23 to 26. 

PRO-Davao further stated that the reshuffling of 19 station commanders on July 9 was part of the regional police director's discretion to reposition personnel for enhanced service and was not "politically motivated," contrary to certain predictions.

According to Police Brig. Gen. Nicolas Deloso Torre III, the new PRO-Davao head, said the decision was also intended to improve police service and keep the region peaceful. RGP

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