By: Elena Grace Flores
It’s final – the National Police Commission revokes Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña’s supervision powers over police after he withdraws support for his city’s police officers.
Osmeña said on Tuesday he did this because the Philippine National Police (PNP) had replaced Cebu City police chief Benjamin Santos without consulting him. Santos was replaced by former Pasay City Police Chief Joel Doria last month. Osmeña’s decission is contrary to his tough anti-crime statements when he was elected.
Napolcom reported: “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 3 vans that were requested by the former chief of the Cebu City police station.” PNP Region 7 Director Noli Taliño’s office will have sole operational supervision over Cebu City police.
Napolcom Central Visayas Director Homer Mariano Cabaral said that it was necessary to revoke Osmeña’s supervision powers over city police because the PNP determined that his actions – could slow down or would have a “negative impact on the effectiveness of the campaign.”
This is in relation to Duterte’s SONA pledge that mayors who wouldn’t cooperate in the government’s war against drugs would lose their deputization over police forces should they choose not to “perform their supervision functions.” An amendment to the law passed under Republic Act 8551 in 1998 allows Napolcom to revoke deputation in consultation “with the provincial governor or congresman concerned” – that can make this move legal.
Osmeña was unhappy that the PNP had ignored his request to allow Santos and former Region 7 Director Patricinio Comendador to remain in their posts for 30 more days only. PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa apologized to Osmeña for replacing the local police chiefs without consulting him first.