The “changing of the guard” of the Negros Oriental Philippine National Police Provincial Office took place Thursday morning without the usual fanfare.
And, instead of holdingit at the NORPPO headquarters at Camp Francisco Fernandez Jr. in Barangay Agan-an, Sibulan, Negros Oriental, as usual, it was held at the PNP Regional Office 7 (PRO-7) at Camp Sergio Osmeña, Cebu City, Region 7 PNP director Chief Supt. Robert Quenery said in a telephone interview.
Senior Supt. Edwin Portento relinquished his post as acting Negros Oriental provincial police director to his successor, Senior Supt. Raul Tacaca, in a simple turnover ceremony, Quenery said.
“There will be no more turnover there in Negros Oriental and he (Tacaca) will assume his post immediately,” Quenery said.
He said the order for Portento's relief and Tacaca's appointment as acting provincial police director of Negros Oriental were issued by the PNP national headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City and were effective May 8.
Asked for the reason for the sudden relief of Portento, Quenery admitted he was “not privy” to it, saying it was Camp Crame that issued the orders.
“It was a recommendation from the oversight committee and I don’t know (why), the orders just came out,” he said.
Portento had served Negros Oriental for about eight monthsbefore to his relief.
Quenery also noted that despite a ban in the movement of government personnel during the election period, the Comelec had approved the relief and appointment of Portento and Tacaca, respectively.
In reaction to Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo’s statement that he was not satisfied with Portento’s handling of the murder case of broadcast journalist Edmund Sestoso, the PRO-7 regional police director said that the investigation would “take time.”
“It will always depend on the evidence that is gathered by the investigator. Well, apparently, some sectors would presume that this could have been committed by a suspect but still, the investigator should always depend on the evidence at hand,” he said.
If the case is not immediately closed, that is because the evidence may not be sufficient, Quenery added.
Malacañang officials, led by Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go, arrived in Dumaguete City last week and went to the wake of the late Edmund Sestoso and to meet with the PNP and other investigating units, upon orders of President Rodrigo Duterte to speed up the resolution of the case and to leave no stone unturned.*PNA
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