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PNP chief to mayor: “Don't lord over me”

The provincial command of the Philippine National Police (PNP) will have to address concerns on criminality at their own rate and standard, without bowing down to a city mayor.

Police Provincial Director Constantino Barot Jr. elaborated on this as he clarified that the intrusive city mayor has no jurisdiction over him.

 

The administrative function of the mayor over the police is only limited at the city level.

'The chief executive who should coordinate with the police provincial director in this matter should be the governor and not the city mayor,' Barot said.

The Bohol PNP chief issued the statement after Tagbilaran City Mayor Dan Lim gave him an "ultimatum" to completely eradicate swertres which has been rampant in the city for many years already.

The mayor reportedly pronounced that if the police provincial director cannot solve the problem of swertres, he should go out of his way to solve it.

On this, Barot clarified that solving illegal swertres is not the sole responsibility of the police.

In fact, the law mandates all chief executives of local government units (LGUs) to be at the front line in fighting all forms of criminality—including illegal gambling.

Barot recalled that he was  aware (as many residents, as well , are) that the "biggest swertres operator arrested before he assumed office was a barangay captain in the city identified with Mayor Lim."

The PNP director was referring to the case of Mansasa Barangay Captain Manolo Blanco who was caught by a raiding team of the regional PNP command with several swertres parapernalia at his residence including a bet money totaling to more than half a million pesos. The case failed to prosper despite the presence of voluminous pieces of evidence against the barangay captain. Mayor Lim, in fact, offered the provide "the best lawyer" for the barangay captain,

It is, therefore, moot and academic for the mayor to issue any statement daring anyone who could solve criminality from the police ranks and offering himself as the alternative troubleshooter because he is already mandated to do the task in the first place.

"What the city mayor should do is to lead in the drive against illegal gambling, illegal drugs, and all forms of criminality in the city and shall coordinate with the city PNP."

Barot, on the other hand, assured the public that the PNP provincial command is constantly monitoring the illegal swertres and that police operations have been conducted already in the effort to apprehend personalities involved in the illegal activity.

The Bohol Police Provincial Office conducted 25 operations against illegal gambling resulting to the arrest of 42 persons and filing of 23 cases in court during the month of July this year.

During the operations, the BPPO confiscated improvised tally sheets with various dates with three-number combinations, five motorcycles used in the operations of suspects, some mahjong sets, four sets of playing cards, one fighting cock, cash amounting to a total of P9,323.75, and other illegal gambling paraphernalia.

Meanwhile, Tagbilaran City still has the highest crime volume among the LGUs in Bohol, contributing 56 incidents to the 170 crime volume in the province in the month of July.

Of the 56 incidents, 48 were index crimes and eight were non-index. Of the crime volume only 19 were solved or a crime solution efficiency of 34 percent for the city police.

For its part, the city police has recently raised alarm over the rising incidence of theft and robbery.

In the first eight days of September, the city PNP's Theft and Robbery Section already recorded seven incidents which is considered a higher rate of almost one incident per day compared to the 11 cases recorded in the entire month of August or a rate of only one to two incidents in a week.

Newly-installed OIC of the Tagbilaran City Police Station, Senior Insp. Albert Timpac deployed more police officers in almost all corners of the city, especially during night time.

The Theft and Robbery Section of the city police also called on the residents to help prevent burglary by making sure that thieves will have no entry points when they leave their houses.(AV)

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