Shakeup in Davao police: 3 city chiefs in 13 hours

Shakeup in Davao police: 3 city chiefs in 13 hours

Shakeup in Davao police: 3 city chiefs in 13 hours

Inquirer files

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — In an unusual turn of events, the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) had three police chiefs within a span of 13 hours.

Just six hours after he assumed office as officer-in-charge (OIC) of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO), Col. Lito Patay, who had been linked to the bloody drug war of former President Rodrigo Duterte, was relieved from his post on Wednesday.

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The order was relayed over the phone while Patay was presiding over a command conference.

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READ: 19 police chiefs in Davao City relieved, reassigned

Patay, at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, took over the DCPO command from Col. Rolindo Suguilon, who stayed on the post for about two months.

But he was replaced by Col. Sherwin Butil, erstwhile head of the Regional Information and Communications Technology Management Division of Davao Region police office, according to Maj. Catherine dela Rey, regional police spokesperson.

READ: PNP: All station chiefs in Davao region relieved; move not linked to Quiboloy

Butil was officially designated as OIC of DCPO effective Wednesday afternoon.

But at 8:48 p.m. on Wednesday, Dela Rey advised local reporters that a third police officer, Col. Hansel Marantan, was designated as DCPO chief, vice Butil.

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The recent shakeup in the DCPO follows the replacement of all 19 station commanders in the city on Monday, as ordered by Brig. Gen. Nicolas Torre III, Davao police regional director, a move that raised Mayor Sebastian Duterte’s eyebrows.

Patay, now chief of the Regional Operations Division of the Davao Region police, was among the “Davao Boys” who were assigned to Metro Manila to help boost the campaign against illegal drugs of then President Duterte in 2016.

A graduate of the Philippine National Police Academy in 1996, Patay served as chief of the Tagum City police. From there, he became the commander of Batasan Police Station 6 under the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) during the Duterte administration.

While leading the Batasan police station, Patay faced administrative charges for the death of five drug suspects, including a minor, in a raid in Barangay Payatas B in August 2016.

Charges dismissed

After a six-year legal battle, then Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea dismissed the charges, saying Patay’s only participation in the bloody raid was being the station commander of the 16 police officers involved in the operation, hence, there was no “substantial proof” he had a direct hand in the killings.

Later, Patay became the director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in the Central Visayas region.

An earlier report described QCPD’s Batasan station, which Patay led, as having recorded the highest number of killings during drug operations in Duterte’s first year as president.

On the relief of station commanders in Davao, Mayor Duterte, a son of the former president, said the move “undermines the hard work not only of these police officials but also of every police personnel who is truthfully fulfilling their mandate.”

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“Instead of being recognized, (they) are being relieved and questioned. The mass relief of police officials, including the city police director, the head of the Special Operations Group, and 19 station commanders assigned in Davao City, will not help in sustaining the city’s peace and security situation,” the mayor said.

TAGS: Davao City Police Office, PNP‎

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