Negros Occidental Board Member Renato Gustilo said yesterday that they have invited Chief Supt. Cipriano Querol, regional police director of Western Visayas, to a closed door session with members of the provincial council on Aug. 31.
The meeting is intended to shed light on the suspension of the deputation of Mayor Melecio Yap over the Escalante police, and stripping him of police escorts.
Gustilo, chairperson of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan committee on Peace and Order, however, said the SP had not received a reply from Querol as of yesterday, but he is hopeful that Querol will respond positively.
Three policemen who were security escorts of Mayor Yap were relieved from the Escalante City police station in June, before the National Police Commission ordered the suspension of his administrative and operational control over the city police force.
The Negros Occidental mayors, Gustilo and the Carmelite priests in Escalante had expressed their support to Yap, who cried foul over his suspension, saying he was denied due process.
The Negros mayors said it appears that the suspension was hastily promulgated and based on unfounded allegations, and that Yap has not received official copies of the complaints filed against him, concerning his alleged close association with the New People’s Army, and the occurrence of extra-judicial killings in Escalante.
The LMP and Negros ACE resolution said it viewed the development as a dangerous precedent for cities and municipalities as the Napolcom could arbitrarily take away the authority of the mayor to supervise and control the local police, based on “unfounded and flimsy” allegations by unknown personalities.
The Carmelite priests and Escalante residents will hold an indignation rally tomorrow, to protest the Napolcom order on Yap.
In giving the order against Yap, the Napolcom cited numerous extra-judicial killings in Escalante City, and his alleged close association with the NPA, based on a “confidential report” of Querol, and investigations by the Napolcom regional office.
However, Senior Supt. Allan Guisihan, Negros Occidental police director, said that in the absence of guidelines from the Napolcom on the suspension of the deputation of Yap, the mayor still has administrative and operational control of the Escalante police.*GPB