By Samuel Toledo
LEGAZPI CITY 23-April-2013 – The Philippine National Police (PNP) Bicol regional office relieved this week the entire police personnel of Batuan, Masbate, after they reportedly set free at least 15 fishermen who were earlier arrested for illegal fishing activities allegedly upon the prodding of the town mayor.
Relieved were the 22 policemen of Batuan town, including their chief Insp. Dedimo Ibañez, Bicol police spokesman Renato Bataller said.
Bataller said the relief order was issued by Chief Supt. Clarence Guinto, PNP Bicol regional director and concurred to by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
He said Guinto sacked the entire Batuan police personnel after confirming reports that the fishermen earlier caught in the act of doing illegal fishing activities in Barangay Sawang last April 5 were freed four days after their arrest, allegedly through the intercession of Batuan Mayor Charlie Yuson.
Bataller said the relieved cops were sent back to Camp Ola and were replaced by policemen from Bicol’s Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB) led by Police Inspector Jan King Calipay, who assumed as Batuan police chief.
“The newly-installed leadership of Chief Superintendent Clarence Guinto is making it very clear to everyone that the law must be applied to all,” Bataller said.
He said the order is also meant to send a message that the Bicol police force is serious in its campaign against all forms of illegal activities.
Bataller also said the Bicol police office has intensified its campaign against all forms of illegal activities that may affect the conduct of peaceful and orderly elections in the region.(PNA)