“I am just following orders.”
The statement came from Senior Supt. Celestino Guara, caretaker of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office yesterday in reaction to reports of complaints from some politicians the recommendation to relieve and transfer of nine police chiefs may be related to politics.
Six of the nine towns and cities in Negros Occidental affected by the proposed reshuffling of police chiefs have mayors, who are supporters of Governor Alfredo Marañon, who is seeking for a re-election in the May 13 elections.
Guara said the order for the transfer of nine police chiefs came “from above”, but he refused to elaborate further and merely added that the proposed transfers were made for the exigency of the police service.
The recommendations for transfer, that have already been endorsed to the Commission on Election for action, involved Senior Inspector Arnold Mesias - EB Magalona, Senior Inspector Jason Manguilimutan - Isabela, Senior Inspector Lowell Garinganao - Cauayan, Senior Inspector Mary Rose Pico - Pontevedra, Senior Inspector Hector Balbon - Murcia, Senior Inspector Gary Alan Resuma - La Castellana, InspectorJerry Nacion - San Enrique, Chief Inspector Eduardo Corpus – La Carlota City and Chief Inspector Gabriel Gutierrez - Sagay City.
The mayors of Sagay City, La Carlota City, San Enrique, La Castellana, Pontevedra and EB Magalona have expressed their support for the re-election of Marañon.
Guara said the relief and transfer of nine police chiefs was recommended to him, by authority higher than the Police Regional Office 6.
He, however, also said the proposed relief and transfer of police commissioned officers with the rank of chief inspector to superintendent will be decided by the Comelec Law Department in Metro Manila, while those with the ranks of senior inspector to inspector will be acted upon by the Comelec regional office.
Guara said it is possible that it will take time for the Comelec central office to act on the recommendation, because of the volume of their work.
Supt. Noel Mana-ay was earlier relieved as police chief of Cadiz, when the PRO6 ordered the enforcement of his six months suspension without pay, after he was found guilty by the Ombudsman for Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service.
Manaay was temporarily replaced by his deputy, Senior Inspector Gil John Despi.
Cadiz Mayor Patrick Escalante is also a supporter of Marañon.*GPB