Dismayed over the lack of effort in the Duterte administration’s campaign against the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country, the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Saturday relieved all police officers, including the chief, of the Daanbantayan Police Station.
The PNP leadership cited the Daanbantayan police force’s poor performance in the anti-drug campaign as explained by Central Visayas police director Chief Supt. Debold Sinas, who said the move was prompted by the station’s low accomplishment rating when it comes to handling drug-related offenses.
#UlatBayan | Hepe at mga pulis sa Daanbantayan sa Cebu, sinibak
Posted by PTV on Saturday, 12 January 2019
The Central Visayas police director noted the Daanbantayan Police Station only recorded 11 drug-related operations in 2018 after the sacked police officers met with Sinas Saturday morning for their new assignments. They also underwent drug testing.
President Rodrigo Duterte had tagged the town’s Mayor Vicente Loot, a former police official, as involved in the drugs trade, even cursing the local chief executive during his meeting with mayors at the Palace in 2017.
Loot is one of the five narco police officers identified by Mr. Duterte in his drug matrix. He was the director of the PNP Training Service and director of Police Regional Office 8 before retiring.
He won as mayor of Daanbantayan, Cebu in the 2016 elections.
Loot has denied the accusation against him, claiming he is a victim of “black propaganda.”
Remorse too late
Relieved Daanbantayan chief of police Senior Insp. Adrian Nalua admitted they could have been more aggressive in their operations against illegal drugs.
The PNP said Nalua will be reassigned to the police station in Oslob town and will be replaced by Chief Insp. William Homoc, who brought with him 28 new police officers from the Regional Public Safety Battalion.
Other relieved police officers, meanwhile, will be assigned to the Regional Public Safety Battalion for a month-long “Moral Recovery Program.”
Loot returned to work just last week after a long lay off that lasted from August 2018 suggesting that he had made himself scarce after the President tagged him among the narco police generals.
Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III then admitted learning of Loot’s absence from some town officials who paid him a courtesy call at the Cebu Provincial Capitol.
Davide said the town councilors don’t know the whereabouts of Loot but they believe that the mayor was just in his residence.
He was mentioned by the President for his involvement in illegal drugs during the League of Municipalities of the Philippines’ Visayas Island Cluster Conference.
Coming off a vacation, the alleged narco-general and his family survived an ambush at the New Maya Port in Daanbantayan on 13 May 2018.
Loot and his family were unharmed but his two drivers and nanny of his grandchild were wounded in the attack.