KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, Jul. 7 (PIA)--- Twelve mayors and the governor of Sultan Kudarat province as well as the city mayor of Cotabato were among the 139 local chief executives (LCEs) in Mindanao whose deputation as representatives of the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) was suspended or withdrawn by the commission.
NAPOLCOM XII regional director Veronica Hatague said that the suspension of police powers was based on resolution numbers 2017-334, 335, and 335-A.
The said resolutions highlighted the grounds for the withdrawal of deputation which include failure of the local chief executives to suppress terrorist elements resulting in alarming incidence of lawless violence within their territorial jurisdiction.
Also, there have been reports of local chief executives in Mindanao being involved in the illegal drug trade and that the action or inaction of certain LCEs in connection with the illegal drug trade, while still being validated, is tantamount to providing material support to criminal elements.
With the suspension, affected LCEs may no longer inspect police forces and units, and conduct audit and exercise other functions previously authorized by the commission.
Meanwhile, Hatague clarified that their office has just recently received the resolutions which were duly signed and approved on June 8, 2017. The regional director also emphasized that it was their Central Office which enforced the suspension.
Hatague also noted that as a procedure of issuing suspension, investigation and validation should first start in the regional level. On the other hand, as stated in NAPOLCOM’s Memorandum Circular No. 2001- 003, the Central Office can do investigation and validation without the knowledge of the regional office.
The regional director said that some of the affected LCEs in the region have already coordinated with NAPOLCOM XII for their appeal in lifting the suspension.
She also noted that the withdrawal of the deputation should stay for the duration of the Martial Law unless the LCEs can offer valid and compelling reasons for its restoration. Further, Hatague emphasized that only the President could restore the withdrawal of the suspension as stated under NAPOLCOM Memorandum Circular No. 99-010.
On the other hand, to shed light on this issue, Hatague stated that Commissioner Zenonida Brosas, supervising commissioner for Region XII of NAPOLCOM will be gracing the Regional Peace and Order Council XII Meeting on July 11. (SJDuerme-PIA12)