Pangasinan police chief stands firm on appointment

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DAGUPAN CITY—The police chief of Pangasinan on Thursday stood firm on his appointment, saying he was following a “lawful and legitimate order” when he assumed his post last May.

Senior Superintendent Marlou Chan reacted to the provincial board’s call for him to step down, as it cited his “irreconcilable differences” with Governor Amado Espino Jr.

On March 24, Espino filed a petition for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Chan’s appointment as the province’s police director.

Espino said Chan’s appointment violated the Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990 (Republic Act No. 6975), which authorizes the governor to choose among three eligible officers recommended by the regional police director.

“I did not make the order. I am here in furtherance of a lawful and legitimate order,” said Chan in a radio interview.

On Monday, the provincial board also declared Chan persona non grata, saying he demonstrated partiality and bias in dealing with election-related issues during the campaign period for the May 13 elections, among other things.

But Chan, in an earlier interview, said the Pangasinan police had maintained “utmost impartiality” and enforced the law during the elections “regardless of political party affiliation.”

Chan was Ilocos Norte police director before he was designated as officer-in-charge of the Pangasinan police in December. He was appointed regular provincial police director on May 10.

“I think that the most prudent for all of us should have been to wait for the resolution of the TRO petition,” Chan said. The petition is pending in a regional trial court in the capital, Lingayen.

“Until such time that my appointment is revoked or there is another kind of order, I will continue performing my job as provincial director,” Chan said.

Despite the criticisms, he said his work as provincial police director has not been affected.

“I’m used to work under pressure,” said the police chief. Gabriel Cardinoza, Inquirer Northern Luzon

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