Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said yesterday he had sought the relief of acting Bacolod Police Director, Senior Supt. Francisco Ebreo, since May 2018.
Leonardia said he and Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya had requested for a change of police leadership because they were no longer comfortable with the situation.
His political opponents like Councilor Ricardo Tan and Rep. Stephen Paduano (Abang Lingkod Partylist) had paid Ebreo a visit and he wondered why they were not informed about it, Leonardia said. They only learned about it from other sources, he said.
Tan had been openly campaigning against him since he was planning to run for mayor at the time, including Paduano, Leonardia said.
Ebreo also reshuffled police officers without informing them, he added.
“With that, we felt that we were no longer comfortable working with a police officer with whom we had no complete confidence. So we asked for his relief as early as May last year,” Leonardia said.
He has been reiterating his request but somehow, Ebreo was not relieved and that is beyond his comprehension, Leonardia said.
It was also about matters of differences of approach, he said, pointing out that Ebreo has reduced the number of personnel in the enforcement unit which has affected the city government’s operations against illegal structures and illegal vending, and Task Force Botagoy’s drive against hot meat, he added.
Leonardia said he is not making an assessment of Ebreo’s performance.
He also assured thatthere will be no disruption of police services or operations because their financial assistance to the police of about P22 million a year will continue.
Asked for his reaction to the firing of Ebreo and four other policemen by President Rodrigo Duterte, Leonardia said the President has spoken and they will just wait for the next developments.
“Let us take it as it is.I am inclined to believe this is about intelligence gathering. But this has not reached our level,” he said.
Leonardia said it is the nature of their profession to be reshuffled. But he believes that matters like this will not affect the operations of the police in Bacolod City.*
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