PNP defends massive shake-up in Davao police office

Davao City Police Station 2
DAVAO. This is Police Station 2 of the Davao City Police Office in Davao City.Photo by Jeepy P. Compio

POLICE Colonel Hansel Marantan, who was implicated in the controversial rubout case in Atimonan, Quezon in 2013 that killed at least 13 people, was named as the new director of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO).

In a press conference in Camp Crame, Philippine National Police (PNP) Public Information Office chief Colonel Jean Fajardo said Davao Region Police Director Brigadier General Nicolas Torre opted to assign Marantan to the position in a permanent capacity in a bid to fully implement police programs in the city, which is known to be one of the most safest in Southeast Asia.

Three DCPO chiefs were designated in one day, July 10, replacing one after another.

Police Colonel Lito Patay replaced Colonel Rolindo Suguilon.

After over four hours, Patay was replaced by Colonel Sherwin Butil.

However, hours later, it was Marantan who was installed as the new DCPO director.

Fajardo said after Torre conducted an evaluation on the efficiency of the DCPO, he deemed it necessary to designate new officers to strengthen the implementation of police programs in the city.

“Ang Davao ang may isa sa pinakamagandang mga command center and yet hindi naiimplement itong mabilis na police response. So kung sa tingin nila itong mga tao na ito ay makakatulong nila para mas lalong pagandahin ang performance ng Davao, again ang Davao ang isa sa pinakamagandang probinsya at siyudad sa ating bansa, we will be giving injustice sa people ng Davao kung basta lang maglalagay tayo ng kung sino-sino. So naniniwala ang RD ng Davao na si Colonel Marantan will deliver what is expected of him,” she said, noting that Torre is aspiring to implement the three-minute response time of police.

Torre initiated the three-minute response time when he was still the director of the Quezon City Police District.

“Ang intension niya is to infuse new blood sa Davao para mas maging dynamic or mas progresibo ‘yung kanilang mga programang iniiimplement,” Fajardo added.

Earlier, Torre ordered the relief of over 20 police officers of the DCPO, noting the “severe discrepancies” in crime statistics and inadequate police response times in Davao City.

The regional director discovered following a command conference with the DCPO that there were 22 killings and 41 rape cases in the city from January to May 2024, which translates to one killing and two rapes per week.

Torre was designated as the Davao region police chief succeeding Brigadier General Aligre Lamsen Martinez.

The said relief came in the light of the June 10 simultaneous operations launched by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the Special Action Force (SAF) for the arrest of Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) leader Pastor Apollo Quiboloy and five others over child and sexual abuse and human trafficking.

Police visited five properties belonging to Quiboloy such as the KOJC compound in Barangay Buhangin, Davao City; the Prayer Mountain in Tamayong; the Glory Mountain in Purok 6; QSands Baptismal Resort in Samal; and the Kitbog Compound in Malungon, Sarangani but they failed to find and arrest him.

Former President Rodrigo Duterte, who was named as the new administrator of properties belonging to KOJC, slammed the police, as he vowed to support the members and missionaries of the religious group.

Duterte also recently said that he is aware of Quiboloy’s whereabouts.

Before this, 35 policemen assigned were also relieved amid the ongoing probe into the death of seven alleged drug suspects after the declaration of “drug war” in the city in March.

The massive shake-up in the DCPO does not sit well with Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte, noting that it will not help in sustaining the city’s peace and security situation.

"This move by General Marbil and Police Regional Office XI Regional Director Nicolas Torre undermines the hard work not only of these police officials but also of every police personnel who is truthfully fulfilling their mandate, that instead of being recognized, are being relieved and questioned," Mayor Duterte said, as he boasted of the city’s “longstanding reputation for its commitment to peace and order and security.”

“This did not come by accident. It came about by a combination of political will, committed and dedicated law enforcers and, most of all, citizens’ cooperation,” he added.

Duterte also questioned the timing of the massive relief and replacement of the DCPO officials.

Fajardo maintained that PNP remains professional.

“Kung yung may mga changes particularly sa mga third level officers, this is being implemented within the functions ng regional director (RD) and that is the reason kung bakit nakikiusap tayo, let us spare ang ating mga senior officers, ating mga RDs sa mga ganitong political na usapin para hindi natin mahaluan ng ano mang political na issue itong mga changes not only here in NHQ (national headquarters), including sa mga regions natin including PRO 11,” she said. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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