Cebu police, Osmeña eye case against each other over checkpoint conduct
CEBU CITY — The rift between Cebu City police and reelectionist Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña is far from over.
The Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) was planning to file a case against Osmeña and his running mate, Councilor Mary Ann delos Santos, for reportedly disregarding a police checkpoint on Sunday evening.
CCPO director Col. Royina Garma showed videos of Osmeña and Delos Santos arguing with police officers who conducted the checkpoint.
Garma said both Osmeña and Delos Santos violated the law and should answer for their actions.
“The checkpoint was coordinated with Comelec (Commission on Elections) and these people (Osmeña and delos Santos) were covered with the orders. Even ordinary people understood that if there is a checkpoint, they need to stop,” Garma said.
She said Delos Santos’ car which was accompanied by three motorcycles and a barangay service vehicle evaded a checkpoint in Barangay Kasambagan, Cebu City past 7 p.m. Sunday.
The lead motorcycle, the police official said, was flagged down by policemen but did not stop.
Policemen, who manned the checkpoint, went after the motorcycle but Delos Santos allegedly disembarked from her vehicle and intervened.
Minutes later, Osmeña also arrived to question the conduct of the checkpoint.
Garma said Osmeña and Delos Santos’ actions were uncalled for.
“Harassment ‘yung ginawa nila. Kung ako yun nandoon pinosasan ko na sila at kinulong kaso hindi mo pwedeng gawin yan (What they did was a form of harassment. If I was there, I am going to hand cuff and detain them because they should not have done that),” Garma said.
In his Facebook post, Osmeña said he will file charges against Garma and CCPO.
Osmeña questioned how the police conducted the checkpoint, saying his staff was forced to step out of his vehicle.
“Col. Garma, why did your goons force my staff out of their vehicle during your ‘checkpoint’ (last Sunday night)? Isn’t it illegal to force someone out of a private vehicle? Ngano nag-ukay sila sa sakyanan nga walay search warrant? (Why did they search the car without a warrant?),” Osmeña said.
The mayor earlier raised concern over the conduct of checkpoints outside his house during Holy Week.
“I live on a side street in Guadalupe, but instead of securing the bus terminals, churches, or other high traffic areas, PRO-7 has decided to send 10 police(men) to make a checkpoint right outside my house. (This is the) only mobile ‘checkpoint’ in Cebu and one where there is more police than traffic,” he earlier wrote on his Facebook page.
“They actually tailed me last Thursday during Visita Iglesia. Maybe they just want to be sure I really went to seven churches,” he added.
Some people staying in a chapel across his gate told Osmeña that the police took photographs of whoever enters and exits his house.
“When I left earlier, they left. Now that I’m home, they’re back. Earlier today (Thursday), my wife had to ask permission to enter our own house,” he said.
Aside from setting up a checkpoint outside his house, Osmeña said the police were also knocking on the doors of BOPK barangay captains and were conducted a warrantless search in Barangay Lahug “looking for illegal firearms.”
Barangay Lahug is the bailiwick of Delos Santos.
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