LEGAZPI CITY (15-Jan-2013/PNA) – Chief Supt. Clarence Guinto, Philippine National Police (PNP) Bicol chief, has ordered the reshuffling of 17 chiefs of police in three Bicol provinces.
Supt. Renato Bataller, PNP Bicol spokesperson, said on Tuesday that those affected by the order, which took effect last Jan. 11 were 10 chiefs of police in Camarines Sur, two towns and two cities in Albay and three towns in Camarines Norte.
Bataller said affected by the police reshuffling were the towns of Libmanan, Nabua, Ocampo, Bonbon, Cabusao, Calabanga, Camaligan, Canaman, Magarao and Pili — all in Camarines Sur; Libon and Tiwi towns and the cities of Legazpi and Ligao in Albay; and the towns of Daet and Mercedes in Camarines Norte.
He said in a phone interview that next to be reshuffled are town police chiefs in the provinces of Sorsogon, Catanduanes and Masbate.
The reshuffled police officers range from senior inspectors to superintendent.
Asked if the reshuffle was in line with the upcoming midterm elections, Bataller admitted that it was a move to anticipate the COMELEC election ban on personnel reassignment during the election period which kicked off on Sunday.
He claimed that the reassignment of police officers is a normal procedure of the agency because some of them have over-stayed their tour of duty while some have been tagged to have been “close friends” with the local chief executives where they are assigned.
“We would like to remove these negative public impressions and doubts,” Bataller explained.
As the election period started, PNP Director General Alan Purisima directed the PNP Bicol to heighten its campaign against loose firearms and the dismantling of private armed groups in Masbate, considered as among the 15 election hot spots in the country.
Purisima, in his directive, intends to send additional troops to Masbate to beef up the 240-man Regional Operation Task Group and the Police Special Action Force based in Mobo town in Masbate. (PNA)