Sara defends choice of police chief
DAVAO CITY—Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio defended her choice of Senior Supt. Alexander Tagum as the city’s new police director amid protests from militant groups who questioned the police official’s human rights record.
Tagum, the former police chief of Kidapawan City in North Cotabato province, was in command when two were killed and dozens were wounded in a violent dispersal of protesting farmers in Kidapawan on April 1 last year.
Jay Apiag, spokesperson of the human rights group Karapatan in Southern Mindanao, said Tagum’s appointment only showed the reign of the “culture of impunity in this government.”
He said Tagum must be held liable for what happened to the North Cotabato farmers who barricaded the main highway in Kidapawan to demand food aid from the government because of the drought.
Carpio, who met with Tagum on Tuesday, said she considered what happened in Kidapawan in her choice of Tagum as the city’s new police chief.
“I also reviewed his track record before that and what he did after that,” the mayor said.
“I’m sure he learned a lot … from that situation. So, if something similar happens in Davao City, he would know what to do. He might not do it again, he might do the same, but we know he already gained experience from this kind of thing,” she added.
The mayor, however, said those who opposed Tagum’s appointment could stage protest rallies, but the police would implement maximum tolerance in dealing with them.
Tagum said he respected people who did not want him to become the city’s police chief. He promised to provide protesters security during the rallies. —INQUIRER MINDANAO
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