Napolcom strips 5 mayors of control over cops
The National Police Commission (Napolcom) has stripped five Southern Tagalog mayors of the power to exercise control and supervision over their police forces due to their alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade.
In a resolution on Oct. 30, the Napolcom revoked the deputation of Mayors Eulalio Alilio (Lemery, Batangas), Raul Palino (Teresa, Rizal), Antonio Halili (Tanauan City), Cecilio Hernandez (Rodriguez, Rizal) and Loreto Amante (San Pablo City).
The resolution was signed by Department of the Interior and Local Government officer in charge Catalino Cuy and Napolcom commissioners, led by vice chair and executive officer Rogelio Casurao.
The Napolcom resolution cited validation by intelligence agencies that the mayors “have been identified as engaged in illegal drug trade activity.”
“Based on the consistent pronouncements made by our Chief Executive President [Duterte] in his campaign against illegal drugs, the involvement of a local chief executive in illegal drug trade/activity constitutes an act inimical to national security or which negate the effectiveness of the peace and order campaign in the country and thus serves as a valid ground for suspension or withdrawal of his/her deputation as Napolcom representative,” it said.
But the mayors questioned the basis of the resolution.
In separate telephone interviews, Palino, Halili, Hernandez and Amante denied any involvement in the drug trade. The Inquirer tried but failed to reach Alilio for comment on Wednesday.
None of the mayors had received a copy of the resolution on Wednesday.
San Pablo City information officer Leo Abril said Amante, whose family was initially named by Mr. Duterte as among the politicians involved in drugs, was “frustrated.”
Palino said he was advised by the Napolcom in Rizal to collate and submit a report of his anti-illegal drug programs to refute the “intelligence report.”
“This is just so unfair, especially to my family. I will file a motion [to have my name cleared],” he added.
The mayors also questioned the source of the intelligence reports, adding that no cases had been filed against them.
Hernandez said he was disappointed that his name was included in the order.
Halili, on the other hand, said he was being pinned down because of allegations that he was somehow connected to a mayor in Bulacan province who was also being accused of protecting the drug trade.
Halili said he was aware of efforts to link him to illegal drugs.
He said Supt. Audi Madrideo, the former police chief of Tanauan, on Oct. 19 submitted a report to the Batangas police headquarters clearing the mayor of drug charges. Madrideo was relieved from Tanauan on Monday.
“Something’s going on,” Halili added.
Supt. Chitadel Gaoiran, spokesperson for the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) police, said the officials’ names had come up in several validations since August 2016.
She said among the supervisory powers the officials lost was the privilege to choose the city or town police chief.
“They also could no longer meddle in police operations,” Gaoiran added.
Zambo gov case
In Zamboanga del Sur province, the Napolcom also stripped Gov. Antonio Cerilles of his power over the police in his province, citing alleged abuse of authority.
In a three-page order on Oct. 30, the Napolcom said the withdrawal of Cerilles’ deputation as Napolcom representative for Zamboanga del Sur and his powers over the police there was due to its “receipt of a confidential report outlining the abuse of authority committed by [Cerilles].”
It did not elaborate on what these abuses were.
But Cerilles, in a statement on Wednesday, said he had suspected that his firm stand against federalism was among the primary reasons the Napolcom stripped him of his power over the police.
“I know this is highly political because of my position … that I am against federalism. I don’t believe that this is good for the country. I honestly believe that this (federalism) is the start of the disintegration in the government,” Cerilles said.
“If this is the prize for going against their position, I will stand by it and so be it,” he added. —Reports from Maricar Cinco, Allan Nawal, Julie Alipala and Jeannette Andrade
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