The suspension of the deputation of Mayor Melecio Yap over the Escalante police by the National Police Commission, is expected to be clarified when Chief Supt. Cipriano Querol, regional police director of Western Visayas, appears at an executive session with members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Negros Occidental, on Sept. 14.
The provincial council of Negros Occidental had earlier passed a resolution, inviting Querol to a closed door meeting with provincial board members on Aug. 31, on motion of Board Member Renato Gustilo, chairperson of the SP committee on Peace and Order.
Querol, however, sent an emissary to the SP that he will be available only after Sept. 12, so the SP re-scheduled the session on Sept. 14.
It was the confidential report of Querol and the investigations of Napolcom regional director Honey Paredes, that served as basis for the Napolcom, chaired by Interior and Local Government secretary Jesse Robredo, to suspend the administrative and operational control of Yap over the Escalante police.
Querol had also stripped Yap of his three police escorts, who were re-assigned to Iloilo, two months ago, for still unknown reasons.
In a resolution, the Escalante SP, condemned Querol, for what they called his “unreasonable, discourteous and illegal action” of reassigning SPO1 Angel Sinadjan, SPO1 Rene Anida and SPO1 Heracleo Canete from Escalante City to Iloilo.
The resolution states that the relief of the three policemen was done without any coordination and courtesy to Yap, and due process for the affected police officers.
The Negros Occidental mayors, Bayan Muna partylist Rep. Neri Colmenares, Gustilo, City Council and Association of Barangay Captaions in Escalante, Carmelite priests and militant groups expressed support to Yap, who cried foul over his suspension, saying he was denied due process.
In its order to Yap, the Napolcom cited numerous extra-judicial killings in Escalante City, and his alleged close association with the NPA.
However, Senior Supt. Allan Guisihan, Negros Occidental police director, said that, in the absence of guidelines from the Napolcom for the suspension of the deputation of Yap, he still has administrative and operational control of the Escalante police.*GPB