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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, January 16, 2019
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Adding insult to injury

Rock & Refuge

True enough, the sacking of Sr. Supt. Francisco Ebreo and linking Councilor Cano Tan in illegal drugs became the talk of the town.

But now, the development that their names were not even in the monitoring list of the national PNP, the drug enforcement agency and as PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde said, not even in the President’s own list, makes me wonder who could have whispered something that triggered that unceremonious firing.

Whoever that is will soon come out because having a chief of police sacked and shaming an elected official is something one can’t help but brag about to show others the power one has over the president, notwithstanding the fact that it has caused the ruin of others.

I got a surprised call yesterday from an old friend who has retired from law enforcement and who had a lot to say on the matter – bottom line being, this will actually cause low morale among the PNP, if they are not already at their lowest considering what’s happening around the country.

But what was more surprising was the reaction from Bacolod Mayor Bing Leonardia who admitted that he wanted Ebreo out since May of last year, the same period when the cop chief was awarded with a Medal of Merit for the operation that neutralized Ramy Poja, allegedly one of the top illegal drug operators in the city.

Of course it wasn’t the death of Poja that caused the ire of Mayor Bing but the visits of his “political opponents” Cano and Abang Lingkod Rep. Stephen (Caraps) Paduano to Ebreo that he wasn’t informed about and only learned from sources later.

You must be kidding me!

That comment was really uncalled for especially in the light of Ebreo’s accomplishments in the campaign against illegal drugs that netted P42 million worth of drugs captured from our streets in 2018 alone.

I am not defending Ebreo and his men or Cano as they can very well do that on their own. But I was stupefied by that statement coming from our mayor who also tagged Rep. Greg Gasataya as having that same sentiment that made them “uncomfortable.”

We all know that Cano and Caraps had at one time publicly signified their intent to run against the mayor but which fizzled out late last year when Cano declared he is retiring from politics and Caraps deciding he will remain in his party-list bid.

But their visits to Ebreo should not have been the contention for the mayor to ask for his relief. If this is the kind of governance we are getting, then it’s no wonder why people have to suck-up to politicians to avail of services that are mind you, being funded by people themselves.

The mayor probably forgot that Cano is the chair of the Committee on Police Matters, Peace and Order and Illegal Drugs and to question his visit to the chief of police is quite askew or even that of Caraps whom we all know has favoured Bacolod and Negros for his projects even if his scope is nationwide.

These are officials so why put color on their visits? In fact, anyone has the right to visit Ebreo and malice should not have been impugned. A police chief has better things to do than report to the local chief executive who came to visit him every day.

Caraps has this to say – while he is not questioning the president’s actions against Ebreo or Cano as the former may have basis for it, he thinks the mayor’s comments was “a public display of his insecurity like a petulant child.”

Caraps said that he has been silent on his projects but among those that Ebreo asked from him during that visit and which he has already delivered is a chapel within the BCPO compound and the rehabilitation of some police stations that have seen wear and tear. Can’t we just be happy about that? That if the local government cannot fund the needs of our enforcers because they see better use for it, that there is someone else who fills in the gap?

Why can’t we ever change the face of politics so our development does not get hampered by politicking?

Ah, but others just couldn’t help themselves to create images of collusion thus maneuvering things so they can endear themselves to the higher ups.

Ain’t that probably the same thing that happened last Saturday? No wonder why we are in this state. A bigger wonder for me is if those who love to sow intrigues can even sleep at night knowing they have been party to sullying someone else’s image, and yes, even endangering these lives.*

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