By Ali G. Macabalang
TACURONG CITY – The city government here has set a record in the anal of civil-police relation after it withdrew its regular support including patrol service vehicles over the relief allegedly without prior coordination of its police chief by the regional headquarters.
City Mayor Angelo Montilla admitted dismay over the recent replacement of City Police Director Lt. Colonel Rey Egos by Lt. Col. Joan Maganto on order of Brig. Gen. John Michael Dubria, police director for Region XII, said a news article published on Feb. 11 by General Santos City-based scribe Joseph Jubelag.
The city government’s unprecedented protest-decision translated to the “recall (of) all service vehicles issued to their local police force apart from withdrawing support for their operational funds,” said Jubelag, who coupled his story with a photo of Mayor Montilla in a press briefing here.
Observers have described the city government’s sanction as an inverted version of the controversial 2017 order from the National Police Commission that stripped seven (7) governors and 132 mayors in Mindanao of police deputation due three major reasons, including alleged commission of “acts inimical to national security.”
The affected governors of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and the mayor of Cotabato City had protested but failed to persuade Napolcom from reconsidering the directive.
This time, elected officials of Tacurong, the lone city of Sultan Kudarat, complained that the unannounced relief of Lt. Col. Egos and replacement by Lt. Col. Maganto was a breach of existing civil-police relation rules, which entitle local chief executives to select from among three nominees from higher headquarters before any actual takeover of post.
Mayor Montilla believed the “sudden relief of Egos could be related to (the city government) crackdown on illegal numbers game, specifically the closure of a Peryahan operated by Globaltech Online Mobile Corp. whose franchise with the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) was suspended February 2020,” Jubelag’s story said.
“Hence, the operation of Peryahan numbers game in the city is deemed illegal,” Montilla was quoted as saying.
Gen. Dubria denied the mayor’s allegations, stating that he has ordered an intensified campaign against all forms of illegal gambling activities in Sultan Kudarat, Jubelag.
The police director “also refused to comment on the (nature of the relief) of Egos as the police chief of this city,” said the published story. AGM