Wednesday, July 2, 2014

DILG Sec Mar Roxas revokes Gov Migz’ authority over police

DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, who is also the Chairman of the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM), removed and revoked the powers and prerogatives granted to Camarines Sur Governor Miguel Luis Villafuerte as NAPOLCOM deputy, pursuant to Sec. 51 (a) of R.A. 6975 and Section 64 of R.A. 8551.

National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM)
National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM)
The NAPOCOLCOM issued the said order after evaluating the confidential report dated May 4, 2014 of the DILG 5 OIC Regional Director, who expressed his support to the temporary suspension or withdrawal of the NAPOLCOM deputation of Gov. Villafuerte.

Antecedent facts


The antecedent facts reveal that On September 6, 2004, former Gov. Luis Raymund F.Villafuerte, Jr., the father of the incumbent Governor, issued Executive Order No. 04-001, creating Sagip Kalikasan Task Force (SKTF). The objective was allegedly for the effective monitoring of quarrying activities within the Province of Camarines Sur, and for efficient collection of fees and taxes.

In the said Executive Order, the Provincial Government would establish checkpoints in strategic locations. The SKTF was tasked to file the appropriate court action against illegal quarrying operators. In its operations, the said group would utilize the members of the Camarines Sur Provincial Civilian Security Unit (CSU).

Investigations conducted relative to the operations of the SKTF show that during the incumbency of then Gov Luis Raymund F. Villafuerte, Jr., numerous incidents of abuses in the conduct of the checkpoints manned by the SKTF were reported and entered into the blotters of Minalabac, Caramoan, Sagnay, San Jose and Naga City Police Stations. Relative to the said reports, the PNP National Headquarters issued a directive to the Police special investigators to conduct an investigation.

Requested documents


PSSupt. Arnold L. Albis, OIC Camarines Sur PPO, wrote a letter dated March 31, 2014 to Gov. Miguel Luis R. Villafuerte, requesting from the Governor certain vital documents, so that it can obtain complete collection of facts and accurate information.

Albis, in particular, requested for the following: (1) the authority of the Task Force Sagip Kalikasan to establish checkpoint within the territorial jurisdiction of the Province of Camarines Sur; (2) the roster of personnel or official list of members of the Civil Security Unit (CSU) of the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur; (3) the roster of personnel or official list of members of the Task Force Sagip Kalikasan; and (4) the roster of personnel or official list of members of the Provincial Guards.

On April 1, 2014, without conducting any formal investigation and without fully responding to the urgent request of Provincial Director Albis, Gov. Miguel Luis R. Villafuerte immediately exculpated the members of the SKTF, the CSU and the Provincial Guards by making a gratuitous statement that the said personnel had nothing to do or have no involvement with the subject incident.

The report also said that the failure of Gov. Villafuerte to obtain appropriate licenses for the firearms of the Provincial Government, his unjustifiable failure to deposit the unlicensed firearms to the PPO, as demanded by the PD Albis, his unwarranted refusal to cooperate with the police authorities in its investigation of the shooting incident, his evident coddling of individuals carrying high powered firearms with expired licenses, and his deliberate refusal to provide information to the police on unfounded and baseless claims that the persons subject of the investigation have nothing to do or have no involvement with the subject incident are valid and justifiable grounds for withdrawal of his deputation as agent or representative of the National Police Commission.

Abuses


Meanwhile, during the term of Gov. Miguel Luis R. Villafuerte, similar abuses were reported to have been committed by the SKTF. The most recent was the shooting incident that happened in Barangay Gata, Caramoan on March 22.

Four small-scale miners were killed and charges had been filed against alleged members of the SKTF.

The investigation conducted by the PRO 5 disclosed that the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur under the incumbent Gov. Miguel Luis R. Villafuerte was remiss in its duty to renew and update the licenses covering 41 firearms of the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur. Camarines Sur OIC PD PSSupt Albis in fact even demanded from Gov. Villafuerte to deposit the 41 firearms with expired licenses to the PNP office for safekeeping pending the renewal of the licenses.

The same report also concluded that the unlicensed firearms could have been used in the shooting incident, where members of the SKTF were allegedly involved.

The order which removed and revoked the deputation of Gov Miguel Luis R. Villafuerte as deputy of the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) was duly signed by DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, as Chairman of the NAPOLCOM; Commissioner Eduardo U. Escueta, as Vice Chair and Executive Director; Commissioner Luisito Palmera, Commissioner Alejandro S. Urro, Commissioner Constancia P. de Guzman and Commissioner Alan La Madrid Purisima.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

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