President Rodrigo Duterte Saturday night fired Bacolod City police director, Senior Supt. Francisco Ebreo, for allegedly “enabling” the proliferation of illegal drugs in the city, and four other policemen.
The four others were Senior Supt. Allan Rubi Macapagal, Supt. Richie Makilan Yatar, Supt. Nasruddin Daud Tayuan and Senior Insp. Victor Paulino, Chief Supt. John Bulalacao, Western Visayas police director, said.
The president also named Bacolod Councilor Ricardo Tan, who survived an ambush attempt in December, for alleged involvement in the drug trade and about two civilians.
Neither the policemen or Tan could not be reached for comment.
The announcement was made in a speech made by Duterte during a private birthday party of Leo Rey Yanson, chief executive officer of Vallacar Transit, who turned 45, at L' Fisher Hotel in Bacolod City.
“I’d like to know if the chief of police is here. If you are here kindly stand up because you are fired as of this moment,” the President said in his speech at the party to the surprise of the guests.
Ebreo, however, was outside the venue, securing the President’s visit.
“In your involvement in drugs and making the people of Bacolod miserable, I am relieving and dismissing you from the service as of now, Senior Superintendent Francis Ebreo,” a Malacañang post quoted the president as also saying in his speech.
“Then you have Superintendent Tayuan… And Superintendent Yatar… And there is Victor Paulino, police SI… Macapagal, you are out,” Duterte said.
“These persons that I have mentioned have something to do with the interest of the city…you are protecting, or you are in cahoots with the drug syndicate in the city,” he said.
Duterte ordered the police officers to report to his office 2 p.m. today.
Chief Supt. John Bulalacao, Western Visayas police director, relieved Ebreo and the four other policemen Saturday night “effective immediately” following the pronouncement of the president.
Bulalacao said Ebreo was named for allegedly allowing the proliferation of illegal drugs in Bacolod City by protecting police commissioned and non commissioned officers of the Bacolod City Police Office who were involved in illegal drugs.
Bulalacao said he was surprised by the inclusion of Ebreo because “all the while I was trusting him about our campaign against illegal drugs, in fact he has been delivering substantial accomplishments.”
“I was surprised but I have to investigate and should follow the instructions of the president because he must have a basis for announcing these names,” he added.
Bulalacao said a command conference will be held in Malacañang today and he is bringing Ebreo so he can talk to the president for clarification.
He expressed the possibility that someone may be out to destroy Ebreo, who has been active in the campaign versus drugs.
Macapagal was Bacolod police deputy city director for operation, Yatar – City Mobile Force Company chief, Tayuan – former BCPO squad staff now assigned to Mindanao, and Paulino, former Station 3 police chief.
Ebreo and Paulino were awarded the Medalya nang Kagalingan following the death of drug leader Ramy Poja in a pursuit operation in Barangay Banago, Bacolod, in May last year.
Paulino, who was wounded in the pursuit, also received a Medalyang Sugatang Magiting.
Ebreo and the four other relieved cops will be transferred to the Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit at the PRO-6 headquarters in Iloilo City.
He said the relief of Ebreo “somehow affects the morale of the police because all the time they have been supporting their city director that they had thought had no record”, and then the president announced his name.
Bulalacao said policemen who have been involved in the illegal drug trade should make sure they are not involved anymore and are ready to answer for what they have done in the past.
As for police officers actively involved in the campaign against illegal drugs, he said “they need to be careful in everything they do because there may be those who will try to destroy them or may be able to get evidence against them, and they will be included in the list so this should serve as a warning not only here in Bacolod City, but in the whole country”.
Bulalacao said he was informed that Tan’s name was on the list read by the president Saturday night. When asked if the councilor was on the police drug list, he said “I have yet to check it”.
Since the president believes that Tan and the 5 policemen are involved, he has basis for his claims based on evidence given him, Bulalacao said.
The police will build up a case against Tan and if there is evidence, will file charges against him, Bulalacao said.
Tan and his wife survived an ambush in Purok Tagaytay, Brgy. Alangilan, Bacolod City, on December 14, that left their vehicle riddled with bullets.
Guests at the party said the president disclosed that Tan was “number 4” on his list.
Guest performers at the Yanson party were Freddie Aguilar, Bamboo, Jed Madela and the Power House band. The president sang “Ikaw” in duet with Madela, guests said.*
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