By ROGER M. BALANZA
Davao City police officers slapped with suspension orders by the Ombudsman want to settle a score with the man behind it all: House Speaker and Davao City First District Representative Prospero Nograles.
He is pushing us to the wall? Then we will push him to political oblivion, said a senior inspector at the Davao City Police Office, one of 26 officers suspended on administrative charges.
Nograles is running for mayor in May, against Vice Mayor Sara Duterte, daughter of outgoing Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Along with several other ranked policemen, the police officer, who asked he not be identified fearing charges of electioneering, has been suspended for six months without pay for allegedly failing to stop summary killings in his area of responsibility purportedly carried out by the Davao Death Squad.
The Commission on Human Rights last year conducted a probe—widely believed to be at the instance of Nograles— on the summary executions that have been linked to Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s alleged tolerance of the killings of suspected criminals.
The extrajudicial executions are a major political issue raised against Mayor Duterte and Vice Mayor Duterte.
Mayor Duterte said he has no doubt Nograles was behind the suspension.
He said the release of the order is timed with the display in various areas of the city of large tarpaulins with photos of victims of the alleged summary executions. “That’s how dirty he plays,” said Mayor Duterte, who vowed to provide assistance to the suspended police officers.
With the tarpaulins, Mayor Duterte said Nograles either wants to desecrate the dead.
In media reports, Nograles denied he was behind the suspension but agreed with the Ombudsman order. “Duterte tolerated the extrajudicial killings and the police officers looked the other way,” he said.
.The order, based on complaint by the Davao City Deserves Good Government Movement, dated January 11, 2010 was executory and received by Camp Crame on April 16, 2010.
Mayor Duterte said the police officers must face the suspension but vowed to help them. He lamented that they were suspended despite seeing them work hard to maintain peace and order in the city which led to the DCPO earning Best City Police awards.
“I have seen how these cops work and they are sincere and true to their profession,” he said.
The suspended officers who served DCPO from 2005 and 2008 are former Davao City police director Chief Superindent Catalino Cuy, now serving as chief of the PNP directorate general; Chief Superintendent Jaime Morente, Superintendent Matthew Baccay; Superintendent Filmore Escobal (R2); Superintendent Marvin, Pepino (R5); Superintendent Leonardo Felonia (MAPIO); Superintendent Vicente Danao (R4); Superintendent Rommil Mitra (R1); Superintendent Joseph Sepulchre (R7); PCI Juel Neil Salcedo (deputy R5).
Among the Davao City Police command officers are Chief Inspector Ranulfo Cabanog (Sta. Ana); Sasa Commander Alden Delvo; Talomo commander Joselito Loriza; Toril commander Antonio Alberio and his deputy Chief Inspector Romeo Morandante; Tugbok commander Chief Inspector Joel Neil Rojo; former Buhangin precinct commander Dionesio Abude; Talomo precinct commander Joselito Loriza; Superintendent Vicente Danao (R4); Chief Inspector Rebecca Climacosa (ret); Superintendent Harry Espila (schooling); Superintendent Napoleon Equia (retired); Superintendent Ramil Mitra (R1); PN Maximo Atwil (San Pedro); PI Maximo Atwel, San Pedro; PSI Arnulfo Mahinay; PSI Leonardo Viduya ; PCI Yolando Bello, PSI Rolly Tropico; retired PSI Rebecca Climacosa; Superintendent Harry Espela (schooling); Superintendent Michael Dubria (schooling); and Superintendent Napoleon Eguia (retired).