BAGUIO CITY – The members of the City Council were obviously irked by the continuous refusal of ranking officials of the Police Regional Office (PRO) in the Cordillera to appear before its regular session to shed light on the unceremonious transfer of a devoted city traffic police officer to Apayao for doing his job in apprehending the driver and security aide of one of the members of its command group as it tasked the Committee on Laws to study what available sanctions could be imposed against them for their failure to heed the local legislative body’s police invitation.
Instead of appearing in Monday’s regular session as per invitation by the local legislative body, PRO-COR regional director Chief Superintendent Elmo Francis o. Sarona, deputy regional director for administration Senior Superintendent Gregorio Lim and deputy regional director for operations Senior Superintendent Angelito Casimiro again wrote the local legislative body that they will not appear in the said meeting because of pressing matters that they have to attend which obviously irked the members of the City Council.
One of the options being considered by the local legislators is for the declaration of the said police officials as persona non grata in the city having totally disregarded its repeated invitation as if they are totally independent from the purview of the local government when in fact, the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) gets substantial financial assistance from the city for its operations.
The local legislative body cited that it had already given sufficient time for the PRO-COR officials to appear before its regular session but it seems the arrogant, abusive and impolite police officials continue to defy such invitation warranting the imposition of sanctions against them.
The council also learned that PO3 Joseph Canlas, Lim’s aide, was able to escape the implementation of the number coding scheme being implemented in the capital town of La Trinidad before their vehicle was flagged down by SPO3 Alberto C. Tadeo on December 21, 2016 where the police officers on board the said vehicle reasoned out that the vehicle was owned by Lim and that they will go to gas-up at a gasoline station along Harrison road before bringing Lim’s wife to Manila.
Further, it was also uncovered that the case of simple neglect of duty and breach of internal discipline are supposed to be under the jurisdiction of the local police chief and not the regional command but what happened in Tadeo’s case was that it was the regional command that took jurisdiction of the case and never involved the local police chief in the said controversial matter.
Some councilors believe the PRO-COR officials committed grave abuse of authority, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the serviced which would warrant the filing of the necessary charges against them before the proper offices to discipline the erring police officials to show them that are not untouchables./By Dexter A. See#