Colmenares: Relief of Negros Oriental cop execs a ‘damage control attempt’
BACOLOD CITY – “It’s a badly scripted attempt at damage control.”
That was how Bayan Muna chairman and Makabayan senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares, and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate described the relief of the Negros Oriental police director and three police chiefs following Saturday’s simultaneous operations that led to the death of 14 farmers in Canlaon City and Manjuyod and Santa Catalina towns.
In a press statement, Colmenares and Zarate said the relief of the police officials was intended to deflect the public outcry against the “Tokhang-style massacre” of 14 farmers in the province.
“What the PNP is doing now is for damage control but at the same time maligning and blaming the victims of the Negros Oriental massacre. If they did not kill the farmers in the first place then they would not have to use such a badly written script,” said Colmenares.
“According to San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza, the sacked officials were not even involved in the operation which was planned and carried out by the regional police,” he added.
Zarate said the police and the military should release all the names of those involved in the bloody operation.
“If they have nothing to hide, they should face the investigation,” he said.
Police General Oscar Albayalde, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, on Tuesday, ordered the administrative relief of Col. Raul Tacaca, the Negros Oriental PNP Director and three others to give way to an impartial investigation on the killings of 14 people during a series of police operations last Saturday.
Also relieved were Police Lt. Col. Patricio Degay, chief of the Canlaon City Police Station; Police Captain Michael Rubia, chief of the Sta. Catalina Municipal Police Station; and Police Lt. Kelvin Roy Mamaradlo, chief of the Manjuyod Municipal Police Station.
“I would like to emphasize that their relief is not a punitive measure for alleged actions or inactions rather it is an administrative relief to ensure that they would not exert influence in the ongoing investigation by the Internal Affairs Service and the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management,” Albayalde said.
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