“I don’t want to see policemen being used, or allowing themselves to be used as bodyguards or goons by politicians,” Gov. Roel Degamo told chiefs of police during a conference with Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office director SSupt Edwin Portento at the Capitol in Dumaguete City Wednesday.
Degamo, however, did not name names, or state whether or not he is aware of any policeman acting as such. But he told the chiefs of police that they should not allow local chief executives to dictate to them or influence them in what to do in connection with their mandates because “You know better than the politicians as far as your work is concerned.”
The governor urged mayors to support their police force in their logistical needs so they can perform better.
A stern warning is also up against abusive police officers not to put a stain on the name of the institution. Degamo said he considers Portento as his younger brother to whom he will direct his observations, questions and concerns for immediate action.
He encouraged the police to deliver the services expected of them for the betterment of the province, in line with his call to maintain and sustain the conflict-development ready status of the province.
Degamo also wants to enhance the intelligence gathering capabilities of the police to apprehend and put in jail suspected guns-for-hire in the southern part of the province.
He called the attention of Chief Insp. Michael Aydoc, chief of police in Bayawan City, to submit documents to the courts regarding the ambush of civilians, including a barangay kagawad last month.
Negros Oriental enjoys a tremendous increase in the influx of foreign and local tourists from 17.9 percent last year to 24.9 percent for the first three months of this year.
With the impending closure of Boracay, and the temporary closure of Sumilon Island in Oslob for clean-up, Negros Oriental would be the ideal place for tourists to stay, with Apo Island as one of the most beautiful diving sites in the world.
Present during the meeting with the governor were chiefs of police (CoPs) and acting chiefs of police from 20 police stations and two commanders from the 704th and 705th maneuver companies.
Chief of five police stations failed to come due to earlier engagements, like the CoP of Guihulngan City who was expected to render an update on the shooting to death of SB member Paul Edison Dela Rita, and the CoPs of Canlaon City, La Libertad, Ayungon, and Bindoy, all in the first district.*JG
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